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Photonics, plasmonics and non-linear optics

The present dynamism of this research area at the Institut Néel is due to several recent developments: the bringing together of major experimental and theoretical expertise in the design and growth of semiconductor heterostructures and in the manipulation of one, two or three photon systems, as well as the recent emergence of the field of plasmonics.

In the photonics area, we address manipulation and detection of single photons and the new physical phenomena that appear at the nanometre scale. The photonics studies are based on the growth of a wide diversity of semiconductor nanostructures (quantum dots, nanowires and quantum wells) and their incorporation into optical micro-cavities. These structures are used for fundamental studies of single photon and twin photon sources, and one dimensional photonics systems. This research has been enhanced recently by the development of ab initio calculations of optical absorption and refractive index spectra.

In the area of non-linear optics, we study the generation of three-photon quantum states of light via third order parametric interactions. In second order, we achieve measurement of the phase-matching and quasi phase-matching properties of frequency-conversion crystals. Ultimately, by limiting the optical coupling of a solid state emitter to a single optical mode, we obtain powerful non-linear effects in the single photon regime.

Our research in the field of plasmonics concerns the effects of confinement of electromagnetic fields, notably in rectangular metallic networks with dimensions smaller than the optical wavelength and in random nano-networks, as well as the development of correlated Raman spectroscopy for studies of the dynamics of complex systems.