Polaritons for all optical devices

The aim of this project is the use of strongly coupled light-matter quasi-particles, polaritons, to bring together the antagonist properties of photons and excitons (electron-hole pairs). Recently, these exotic semiconductor quasi-particles have shown to undergo the transition to a condensed state of matter called Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).

This feature empowers them with unique properties which are not limited to the investigation of fundamental questions regarding novel quantum phenomena of Bose-Einstein condensed fluids in a semiconductor chip and at room temperature, but indeed extends further into the semiconductor implementation of BEC to bring quantum physics in tomorrow's technology. Recently, thanks to the easy way of controlling and manipulating polariton states, as well as their fast dynamics, we demonstrated that polaritons can be used as the perfect test-bed for the study of quantum phenomena which are hard to observe in other systems.

In this context, the observation of these quantum phenomena like condensation and superfluidity may open the way to the realization of integrated semiconductor devices working with virtually no dissipation and no activation threshold (threshold-less lasers).

The project we carry on at the IIT, within the framework of the Energy platform, aims at targeting our research to the use of polariton quantum fluids, with organic and inorganic semiconductors, as mediating particles in integrated logics, which are not making use of electronic components. Some examples could be the realization of polariton lasers, polariton transistors, ultrafast optical switches, and logical ports. The natural extension of this research would be the exploit of the truly quantum nature of these fluids with the implementation of entanglement polariton pairs in quantum logic circuits.

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