Lecture: Few-photon nonlinear optics with a single molecule

09.11.2016, 16:00

Andreas Maser, Sandoghdar Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen

Wednesday, November 9th 2016, 16:00h

Semiar Room A1.500, Staudtstr. 2, 91058 Erlangen


In this talk, I will discuss the interaction of light with single dibenzanthanthrene (DBATT) dye molecules. DBATT serves as a model for a quantum-mechanical two-level system. By means of strong focusing of the incident light and cooling of the dye molecules to temperatures below 2 K, a particularly efficient light-matter interaction can be realized. This enables the observation of the nonlinearity inherent to a two-level system, e.g., in the form of saturation of the fluorescence signal, already with light beams containing only a few photons per lifetime of the excited molecular state.

If two light beams with different frequencies are sent to a single molecule, various additional nonlinear phenomena occur. These processes can be exploited to coherently manipulate the transmission of a beam focused onto a single molecule with a second light beam. The occurrent effects, i.e., the AC-Stark shift, stimulated Rayleigh scattering, and three-photon amplification, are detected in the transmission signal. In addition, four-wave mixing and the dependence of the excited state population on the phase difference of the two incident beams are demonstrated by the use of measurements with sub-nanosecond time resolution.


These results show the possible application of organic dye molecules in the field of quantum information processing, where nonlinearities on the single photon and single emitter level are sought-after.