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 02.07.2009   Карта сайта     Language По-русски По-английски
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02.07.2009

Nature 460, 76-80 (2 July 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08134; Received 19 March 2009; Accepted 14 May 2009



A single-molecule optical transistor


J. Hwang1, M. Pototschnig1, R. Lettow1, G. Zumofen1, A. Renn1, S. Götzinger1 & V. Sandoghdar1




  1. Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and optETH, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland


Correspondence to: V. Sandoghdar1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to V.S. (Email: vahid.sandoghdar@ethz.ch).





The transistor is one of the most influential inventions of modern times and is ubiquitous in present-day technologies. In the continuing development of increasingly powerful computers as well as alternative technologies based on the prospects of quantum information processing, switching and amplification functionalities are being sought in ultrasmall objects, such as nanotubes, molecules or atoms1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Among the possible choices of signal carriers, photons are particularly attractive because of their robustness against decoherence, but their control at the nanometre scale poses a significant challenge as conventional nonlinear materials become ineffective. To remedy this shortcoming, resonances in optical emitters can be exploited, and atomic ensembles have been successfully used to mediate weak light beams7. However, single-emitter manipulation of photonic signals has remained elusive and has only been studied in high-finesse microcavities10, 11, 12, 13 or waveguides8, 14. Here we demonstrate that a single dye molecule can operate as an optical transistor and coherently attenuate or amplify a tightly focused laser beam, depending on the power of a second 'gating' beam that controls the degree of population inversion. Such a quantum optical transistor has also the potential for manipulating non-classical light fields down to the single-photon level. We discuss some of the hurdles along the road towards practical implementations, and their possible solutions.



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  • Chen Wev .  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Harton Vladislav Vadim  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Lichtenstain Alexandr Iosif  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Novikov Dimirtii Leonid  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Yakushev Mikhail Vasilii  honorary member of ISSC science council

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