SwarnaJayanti Fellow working towards decoding light emission down to single-photon for improving quantum technologies

New Delhi:Scientists are working towards understanding the light emission down to a single elementary particle called photon for improving quantum technologies.

Spontaneous emission can be tailored by precise engineering of the photon density of states of the elementary particles called photon using photonic structures or periodically ordered patterns; like that in a peacock feather. These structures act as a powerful tool to control the emission and propagation of light. Hence, the emission properties of quantum emitters that can even emit single photons can be tailored for applications in high efficient lasers and quantum technologies.

Dr. Rajesh V.Nair, Associate Professor Department of Physics atIndian Institute of Technology-Ropar a recipient of this year’s SwarnaJayanti Fellowship of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India has achieved precise control on the light transport and emission using engineered photonic systems in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

In order to cater to the requirement of single photons for high emission speed in quantum communication, Dr. Nair aims to understand the light emission down to a single photon level from the precise atomic defects in solid-state materials through the Swarnajayanti Fellowship.

He proposes the emission studies of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers (nitrogen impurity atoms in a diamond crystal) embedded in photonic structures by modifying the photon density of states around the emitter. This is necessary for enhancing their R & D prospects in photonic quantum technologies and ultra-sensitive sensing. Along with his group, he intends to understand the modification of single photons emission rate as well as the spin properties of NV centers resulting in better intensity and rate of emission readout by measuring the intensity. The controlled manipulation of single spins and photons using defect centers, such as the NV center, is the need of the hour and would place India as the forerunner in quantum technologies.

More details about the current research in this area can be found at www.iitrpr.ac.in/LaNOM .