Superabsorption of light via quantum engineering

K.D.B. Higgins, S.C. Benjamin, T.M. Stace, G.J. Milburn, Brendon William Lovett, E.M. Gauger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Almost 60 years ago Dicke introduced the term superradiance to describe a signature quantum effect: N atoms can collectively emit light at a rate proportional to N2. Structures that superradiate must also have enhanced absorption, but the former always dominates in natural systems. Here we show that this restriction can be overcome by combining several well-established quantum control techniques. Our analytical and numerical calculations show that superabsorption can then be achieved and sustained in certain simple nanostructures, by trapping the system in a highly excited state through transition rate engineering. This opens the prospect of a new class of quantum nanotechnology with potential applications including photon detection and light-based power transmission. An array of quantum dots or a molecular ring structure could provide a suitable platform for an experimental demonstration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4705
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2014


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