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Twisted light for quantum control of Rydberg EXcitons

Research project selected under the 2023 call for proposals

Principal Investigator : Thomas BOULIER

Involved Teams :

  • LPCNO / Opto

Type of project : Disruptive Project

Date (start/end) : 2023 – 2026

Schematic representation of the lowest Laguerre-Gauss modes, carrying an orbital angular momentum m. The 3D (2D-projected) phase is represented on the left (center) while the intensity is represented on the right.

This experimental project proposes to use twisted light carrying a quantized orbital angular momentum, such as Laguerre-Gauss beams, to engineer new optical selection rules in a semiconductor system. In particular, in copper oxide (Cu2O), excitons with a giant hydrogen-like wavefunction (called Rydberg excitons) are the perfect platform to test this new type of engineering due to the good overlap of a single Rydberg exciton with twisted laser modes.

This project is doubly important: (1) because this has never been achieved in any type of system so far and would answer the fundamental question “can the orbital angular momentum of light drive an electronic dipole transition?” and (2) because this would be a new method to unlock previously-inaccessible Rydberg excitons states, with considerable potential for solid-state quantum technologies.