(QMETA) Realising Quantum METAmaterials with Quantum Dot Arrays

At a glance

Title Realising Quantum METAmaterials with Quantum Dot Arrays
Reference UTAP-EXPL/NPN/0022/2021
Scientific Area Nano Materials for New Markets
Funding (PT) 50 000 EUR
Funding (US) 50 000 USD
Leading Institutions Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), PT

Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering, UT Austin, USA

Duration 12 months
Start date March 1, 2022
End date February 28, 2023
Keywords Metamaterials, Metasurfaces, Single photon emitters, Quantum dots

What is QMETA about?

Metamaterials, and their ultra-flat counterpart, metasurfaces, are artificial media composed of specifically designed nanomaterials such as synthesized metal or dielectric nanoparticles, where the combined response between the nanomaterial properties and the geometry of the whole arrangement gives rise to the possibility of tailoring the interaction with light fields in ways beyond what can be achieved with natural materials. As such, they have already revolutionized our approach to light interaction with materials as they offer unprecedented control over electromagnetic fields at the nanoscale. Metamaterials have made huge advances in light control possible leading to new applications in efficient and compact nanophotonic devices that help ease miniaturization and energy consumption issues in modern communications.

Merging the concept of metamaterials and metasurfaces with the use of quantum emitters, in particular quantum dots, promises the realization of a whole new class of metamaterials: quantum metasurfaces, where the properties of the single-photon emitters play a key role and enable new functionalities for integrated quantum photonics. The intrinsic nonlinearity of the emitters and their single-photon operation, as well as the collective states supported by the arrays, foresees future applications in photonic quantum communications and quantum information.

What critical challenge is QMETA addressing?

Previous approaches to quantum metasurfaces exploiting collective effects in arrays of single emitters have so far been restricted to the use of cold atoms, which rely on complex and bulky setups operating at very low temperatures.

How will QMETA overcome the complex setups to study quantum metasurfaces?

QMETA will design and experimentally realize novel quantum metamaterials in the form of metasurfaces consisting of two-dimensional arrays of quantum dots. This will be done by first designing the metasurfaces with theoretical tools in Lisbon and then realizing them in Austin. The quantum dots will be periodically arranged in lattices by opto-thermoelectric assembly or optothermally-gated photon nudging.

How will QMETA impact the area of quantum metasurfaces?

QMETA presents a completely novel approach to the area of quantum metasurfaces by exploiting collective interactions of periodically arranged quantum dots. Thanks to this it will be possible to explore the prospects of quantum metasurfaces for controlling light in non-classical manners in a more accessible platform than those previously considered, which may impact future applications in photonic quantum technologies.

Key Expected Outcomes

  • Design and experimental realization of quantum metasurfaces;
  • Scientific articles published in journal papers;
  • Communications in conferences.

Project Team

Paloma Arroyo Huidobro

Principal Investigator in Portugal (Instituto de Telecomunicações)

Yuebing Zheng

Principal Investigator at UT Austin (Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering)

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