Optical pumping of electronic quantum Hall states with vortex light

Friday Quantum Seminar

Deric Session (JQI)
Friday, February 2, 2024 - 12:00pm
ATL 2324

A fundamental requirement for quantum technologies is the ability to coherently control the interaction between electrons and photons. However, in many scenarios involving the interaction between light and matter, the exchange of linear or angular momentum between electrons and photons is not feasible, a condition known as the dipole-approximation limit. An example of a case beyond this limit that has remained experimentally elusive is when the interplay between chiral electrons and vortex light is considered, where the orbital angular momentum of light can be transferred to electrons. Here, we present a novel mechanism for such an orbital angular momentum transfer from optical vortex beams to electronic quantum Hall states. Specifically, we identify a robust contribution to the radial photocurrent, in an annular graphene sample within the quantum Hall regime, that depends on the vorticity of light. This phenomenon can be interpreted as an optical pumping scheme, where the angular momentum of photons is transferred to electrons, generating a radial current, and the current direction is determined by the vorticity of the light. Our findings offer fundamental insights into the optical probing and manipulation of quantum coherence, with wide-ranging implications for advancing quantum coherent optoelectronics.

Pizza and drinks will be served after the seminar in ATL 2117.