Light-matter interactions are fundamentally based on the quantum mechanical principles that govern photons, electrons and other fundamental particles. One very interesting phenomenon within all of light-matter interactions is Electromagnetically Induced Transparency(EIT). This phenomenon causes an otherwise absorbing atomic transition to stop absorbing through quantum mechanical interference of probability wave functions. Corresponding to that change in absorption, will be a sudden, large change in the index of refraction. This change in the index of refraction leads to another phenomenon in which the group velocity of light can be slowed down dramatically. In the past, many researchers have been able to achieve both EIT and slow light in bulk atomic vapor cells. In an attempt to miniaturize this process and we have been using a platform of Anti Resonant Reflecting Optical Waveguides (ARROW) devices to both guide light and contain the interacting matter. However, the platform creates a whole new set of challenges when integrating rubidium vapor into the hollow waveguides as rubidium is highly reactive and it is difficult to maintain an inert atmosphere for the rubidium vapor. A variety of sealing methods were attempted and their appropriateness and effectiveness was analyzed. Among these sealing methods were PMMA, Crystal Wax, Active Solder, Epoxy, and Indium Solder. PMMA, Crystal Wax and Active Solder each had major faults in one or more of the sealing requirements. We have used a high temperature epoxy with relative success to contain the rubidium vapor. However, the epoxy degrades very quickly at the high temperatures required for EIT testing. Indium solder is the most recent application method. It has high potential although we have yet to fully test its effectiveness. We were able to successfully demonstrate the first EIT and slow light on a chip with our ARROW atomic vapor cell system. In the slow light experiment, we were able to slow light down to 2.5x105m/s. The group velocity of light decreased from the standard 3x108m/s by a factor of 1200. We believe we can achieve even lower group velocities using this same platform through further experimentation.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


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EIT, slow light, rubidium reactance, atomic vapor cells