Title

Coherent manipulation of photons and electrons

Date of Completion

January 2009

Keywords

Physics, Condensed Matter|Physics, Atomic|Physics, Optics

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

In modern physics, coherent manipulation of photons and electrons has been intensively studied, and may have important applications in classical and quantum information processing. In this dissertation, we consider some interesting schemes to realize photonic and electronic coherent manipulation. ^ In order to coherently manipulate photons, electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) systems have been widely adopted because the optical response of EIT systems can be controlled by the laser-induced atomic coherence. ^ In the second chapter, we theoretically investigate image storage in hot-vapor EIT media. A so-called 4f system is adopted for imaging, and an atomic vapor cell is placed over the transform plane. The Fraunhofer diffraction pattern of an object in the object plane can thus be transformed into atomic Raman coherence according to the idea of "light storage". We investigate how the stored diffraction pattern evolves under diffusion and discuss the essence of the stability of its dark spots. Our result indicates under appropriate conditions that an image can be reconstructed with high fidelity. The main reason for this procedure is the fact that diffusion of opposite-phase components of the diffraction pattern interfere destructively. ^ In the third chapter, we show theoretical evidence that EIT systems can function as optically addressed spatial light modulators with megahertz modulation rates. The transverse spatial properties of continuous-wave probe fields can be modulated rapidly using two-dimensional optical patterns. To exemplify our proposal, we study real-time generation and manipulation of Laguerre-Gaussian beams by means of phase or amplitude modulation using flat-top image-bearing pulse trains as coupling fields in low-cost hot-vapor EIT systems. ^ In order to coherently manipulate electrons, we consider graphene systems, including single-layer graphene and bilayer graphene, which have recently attracted considerable attention. Due to the long coherence length and electrically tunable Fermi levels, electrons in graphene systems have some photon-like behaviors, and could be coherently manipulated. ^ Therefore, in the fourth chapter, we theorize that at a sharp electrostatic step potential in graphene massless Dirac fermions can obtain Goos-Hänchen-like shifts under total internal reflection. Also, we study coherent propagation of the quasiparticles along a sharp graphene p-n-p waveguide, and derive novel dispersion relations for the guided modes. Consequently, coherent graphene-based devices, e.g., movable mirrors, buffers and memories, induced only by the electric field effects may be proposed. ^ Finally, we theoretically investigate the coherent propagation of massive chiral fermions along a sharp bilayer graphene p-n-p waveguide, and indicate that the guided quasiparticles can be coherently slowed, stored and retrieved based on tunable electric field effects. Controlling group velocity in the bilayer graphene p-n-p waveguide is accomplished via interband tunneling through the p-n interfaces, and does not depend on the bandgap opening. ^