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Ph. D. (H/F) "Single Photon Counters for the Ultra-Strong Light-Matter Coupling Regime"

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR8023-YANTOD-017
Workplace : PARIS 05
Date of publication : Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Yanko Todorov
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 10 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

When an emitter is placed in a microcavity, the emission and the absorption of photons become reversible processes, and the system enters a new regime known as strong light-matter coupling. In this regime two new quantum quasiparticles emerge, known as polaritons, that are admixtures of photons and electronic excitations. Recently, the ultra-strong coupling regime has been observed in semiconductor devices [1]: in this limit, the coupling strength becomes extremely high and the polaritons are expected to become highly non-classical states of radiation [2]. It even becomes possible to extract radiation from the polariton vacuum, an effect known as dynamical Casimir effect [3] that is similar to the Hawking radiation from black holes.
The mission of the PhD candidate is to develop a new type of quantum detectors of radiation that are able to detect and count single infrared photons (wavelength~10µm) [4]. These detectors will be applied for the study the ultra-strong light-matter coupling regime in quantum devices. Our goal is to detect the Casimir radiation from the polariton vacuum and to evidence the quantum-optical properties of the polariton states, which have never been observed before. Besides the fundamental research, such detectors can find many applications such as near field spectroscopy of novel two dimensional materials, as well as the study of radiation properties of mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers. The Ph.D. student will conceive and fabricate detectors, starting from 3D numerical modeling, through clean-room processing and optical characterization of the structures. She/he will acquire not only strong scientific expertise in solid state physics and devices, quantum optics, but also in nanofabrication techniques.
[1] Y. Todorov, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 196402 (2010).
[2] M. Artoni and J. L. Birman, Phys. Rev. B 44, 3736 (1991).
[3] C. Ciuti, G. Bastard, and I. Carusotto, Phys. Rev. B 72, 115303 (2005).
[4] T. Ueda and S. Komiyama, Sensors 10, 8411 (2010).

Work Context

This thesis project is funded by the ERC project UNIQUE attributed to Yanko Todorov of the QUAD team at the Physics Laboratory of the Ecole Normale Supérieur, (LPENS). The objective of the project is to uncover quantum phenomena specific to the ultra-strong light-matter coupling regime in semiconductor quantum devices. The LPENS laboratory is located in the historic heart of the Latin Quarter in Paris, and has the entire infrastructure necessary for the smooth running of the project, including a clean room facility. Complete information on the laboratory is available on the website Part of the nano-manufacturing is planned in the clean room of the Grandes Moulin campus at the University of Paris (consortium of Paris-Center clean rooms).

Constraints and risks

Standard risks linked to manufacturing in a clean room (training will be provided).

Additional Information

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