We experimentally demonstrate an all-optical switching (AOS) scheme based on double slow light (DSL) pulses, in which one pulse is switched by another due to the cross-Kerr nonlinearity. The interaction time is prolonged by optically dense atomic media and matched group velocities. The interaction strength is maintained at a high level by keeping both fields at their electromagnetically- induced-transparency resonances to minimize the linear loss. In the AOS without the DSL scheme, the group velocity mismatch sets an upper limit on the switching efficiency of two photons per atomic cross section as discussed by Harris and Hau. Compared to that limit, we have obtained an enhanced switching efficiency by a factor of 3 with our DSL scheme. The nonlinear efficiency can be further improved by increasing the optical depth of the medium. Our work advances low-light-level nonlinear optics and provides essential ingredients for quantum many-body physics using strongly interacting photons.
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2012 Dec 28|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics