Axis 1: Nano-optics and quantum systems

The axis « Nano-optics and quantum systems » encompasses the studies of optical and quantum phenomena at microscopic scales through the study of nanosystems, cold atoms and hybrid systems.

The study of the properties of nanosystems focusing on the investigation of charge complexes both in nanocrystals and in carbon nanotubes can lead to new advances in quantum computation and quantum information. For instance, nanocrystals with an excess charge can constitute model systems for solid-state quantum optics, offering possibilities of spin-photon entanglement, optical read-out of a charge spin as well as coherent optical spin rotation. Cold atoms can also be used as a « quantum optics » tool, where studies on quantum nondemolition (QND) measurements can be used to phase lock the local oscillator to an atomic superposition state or prepare atomic states with sensitivities beyond the classical limit by using non-classical input states in an atom interferometer.

Important efforts in this axis are also put onto quantum physics at low temperature, in particular to gain deeper understanding into superconductivity and superfluidity, following various approaches. For instance, while the charge distributions of vortices may be determined using single fluorescent molecules used as ultra-sensitive nanoprobes, ultra-cold fermions provide the possibility to simulate the quantum properties of solids by replacing the solid matrix with light and the electron gas with atoms.

Finally, this axis promotes the development of experiments studying the coupling between « classical » and quantum objects, such as optomechanical cooling.