Vici team now complete

The Vici team for the Vici-project Hybrid nanophotonic architectures for ultrafast quantum optics is now complete, with Christiaan Mennes joining Annemarie Berkhout and Kevin Cognee as PhD students. The Vici project explores hybrid nanophotonic architectures for ultrafast quantum optics in a completely new approach to controlling light, coined “hybrid nanophotonics.”

Control over the interaction between a single emitter and a single photon is crucial for microscopy, solid state lighting, and optical information processing. Currently, researchers pursue two diametrically opposite routes to reach such control. They either build the best possible microcavity around the emitter that stores light for a very long time , or conversely they build the best possible nano-antenna to help the emitter send and receive photons as fast as possible. The new research program “hybrid nanophotonic architectures for ultrafast quantum optics” combines the best of both approaches: developing hybrids that contain both the light emitting antennas and the light receiving microcavities. This approach leads to a very strong interaction between light and matter that takes place over unprecedented THz bandwidths, and with unprecedented, ultrafast response times.

Within the project, Annemarie will focus on ultrafast phenomena, using the VICI investment to acquire our first femtosecond equipment. Christiaan will prepare quantum systems with excellent coherence properties at cold temperatures, realizing our first 3 K set ups. Kevin Cognee will combine theory and experiment in a project that is partly done with Philippe Lalanne at Institut d’Optique in Bordeaux, and partly at AMOLF.

About the Vici grants

The Innovational Research Incentives Scheme has been set up in 2000 by NWO, KNAW and the universities jointly. The aim is to promote innovation in the academic research field. The scheme is directed at providing encouragement for individual researchers and gives talented, creative researchers the opportunity to conduct their own research programme independently and promote talented researchers to enter and remain committed to the scientific profession. It includes three forms of grant: Veni (for researchers who have recently completed their doctorates), Vidi (for experienced researchers) and Vici (for researchers of professorial quality).