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Quantum optics and optical control in condensed matter systems

Our group’s research interest lies in an area between quantum optics and condensed matter physics. A primary emphasis is the understanding, the control, and the possible application of quantum coherence and entanglement in condensed matter systems.

We use coherent optical techniques to investigate quantum coherences in semiconductors. Coherent optical processes in semiconductors are strongly influenced by electron-electron, electron-phonon, and electron-nuclear spin interactions. We are learning how to probe, manipulate, and preserve quantum coherences in such a complex interacting environment. Current research projects in this area include electromagnetically induced transparency and ultrafast optical control of electron spins.

Another research theme centers on cavity QED and cavity optomechanics. We are developing a cavity QED system based on the coupling between a silica microresonator and nitrogen vacancy centers in diamond. We aim to control optical interactions at the level of single photons and single spins, enabling applications such as spin-photon interface for quantum internet. By combining radiation pressure cooling with cryogenic cooling, we also explore the possibility of cooling a macroscopic mechanical system to its mechanical ground state, which will open up opportunities for investigating quantum behaviors in an otherwise classical mechanical system.

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