Optical Properties of Rydberg Excitons in Cuprous Oxide

Jacob DeLange, Purdue University


Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) has recently been proposed as a promising solid-state host for excitonic Rydberg states with large principal quantum numbers (n) whose exaggerated wavefunction sizes (∝ n2) facilitate gigantic, resonant dipole-dipole (∝ n4) and van der Waals (∝ n11) interactions, making them an ideal basis for solid-state Rydberg physics and quantum technology. Synthetic, thin-film Cu2O samples are of particular interest because they can be made defect-free via carefully controlled fabrication and are, in principle, suitable for the observation of extreme single-photon nonlinearities caused by Rydberg blockade. In this work, we present the development of a spectroscopy experiment for characterizing the behavior of Rydberg excitons and use it to study a synthetic thin film of Cu2O grown on a transparent substrate. We present evidence for the presence of states up to n = 8 and conduct the first temperature-dependent study of Rydberg excitons in a thin film. We also propose a technique for studying Rydberg-Rydberg interactions via the creation of high exciton densities and establish a set of rate equations for modeling the processes by which excitons are created, interact with each other, and decay. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of the project’s outlook, as well as what future work will be undertaken to study the interactions between Rydberg excitons and utilize them in scalable, integrable, Rydberg-based quantum devices.




Alaeian, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Physics|Optics|Quantum physics|Condensed matter physics|Atomic physics

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