Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - HYNANO (Hybrid Nanophotonics for Enhanced Light Control)

Nanoscale quantum optics is a promising new area, combining the latest advances in nanotechnology with modern nanophotonics. At the heart of this field is the ability to coherently control and manipulate single photons emitted by individual quantum emitters acting as an optical qubit. In elaborate schemes, futuristic quantum networks of emitters, optically coupled, could serve as a platform to distribute entanglement and quantum states, and eventually lead to a quantum internet.
Quantum information processing at the single photon level is an increasingly attractive field aiming at coherent manipulation of information encoded into the photon degrees of freedom. Individual fluorescent emitters such as organic molecules or quantum dots with a single electron excitation are the ideal source of single photons, nevertheless, the intrinsic low efficiency of the interaction be- tween light and matter limits photon absorption and emission and therefore poses great constrains to their practical use. Single emitters have dimensions much smaller than the wavelength of light, and therefore interact slowly and omni-directionally with radiation; these intrinsic fluorescence limits can be overcome when the source is placed in a structured photonic material. Future optical technologies and quantum optical devices will rely on the controlled coupling of a local emitter to its photonic environment, which is governed by the local density of optical states.
The HyNano project has addressed the possibility of using complex nanostructured materials to modify the optical properties of individual emitters and in particular to promote them to super-emitters with boosted optical properties. Dr. Sapienza and his team have developed a state-of-the-art microscopy setup to address individual sources and study their optical emission properties. Among a broad investigation of single-molecule in nanostructured media, the central work has addressed (1) the effect of complex networks of plasmonic nano-antennas on the decay rate of an emitter, (2) the physical properties of hybrid plasmonic antennas-dielectric waveguide systems, (3) theoretical investigation of long-range coupling of two emitters in hybrid plasmonic antenna-dielectric waveguide systems, (4) coupling of single photon emitters within nanofiber waveguides and the study of (5) random lasing tuning and (6) lasing from biocompatible silk nanostructure. This has led to a patent application for a new method of sensing by laser, as well as a strong and active research line in complex photonic networks.
An overview of the results of the project are shown in Figure 1.

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