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Stevens Institute of Technology

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March 12, 2010

Professor Stefan Strauf Publishes Two News & Views Articles in Nature Journals

Professor Stefan Strauf, the director of NanoPhotonics Laboratory at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been recently invited by Nature Photonics and by Nature Physics to contribute News & Views articles, which are published in the March and April issues, respectively. The News & Views section provides a forum in which scientific news can be communicated to a wider community spanning disciplines from fundamental physics and optics to photonics technology. Such an invitation from these prestigious journals comes as recognition of Prof. Strauf's contributions and expertise in the emerging fields of Semiconductor Quantum Optics and Nanophotonics.

In his News & Views article titled “Towards efficient quantum sources”, Prof. Strauf highlights the recent advances in semiconductor optoelectronic devices that emit single photons on demand. The article focuses in particular on a new discovery by Professor Jean-Michel Gerard from the CNRS in Grenoble, France, who is a pioneer in the field. In their article which makes the cover story in this month’s Nature Photonics issue, the authors present a novel type of a photonic nanowire that contains an active quantum emitter, which achieves an unprecedented photon extraction efficiency of about 72%. As stated by Prof. Strauf, such a discovery is of high importance since efficient single-photon sources are a key element for scalability of on-chip optical quantum computation and constitute a big step forward to realize first commercial single photon sources for applications in ultra-secure quantum key distribution. The new work by the French group outperforms the former world record in single photon emission (43%) held by Professor Strauf’s group and his collaborators at UC Santa Barbara which was also featured on the cover of Nature Photonics (in Dec. 2007).

The second invited News & Views contribution titled “Lasing under strong coupling” comments on an upcoming article in Nature Physics concerning lasing action from photonic crystal nanolasers. The group from the University of Tokyo, led by Professor Arakawa, reported that nanolasers operating with just one semiconductor quantum dot can show simultaneously characteristics of lasing and of strong-coupling between light and matter quanta. According to Prof. Strauf, much of the excitement in this field comes from possible applications of such devices for the field of quantum information science. In particular, the new findings are a huge step forward to realize the much sought after quantum repeater, quantum memories and quantum networks. From a fundamental point of view the new findings are surprising and are likely to trigger further studies of quantum dots coupled to photonic crystal nanocavities, a rich and promising system for on-chip quantum information processing.

To read the articles online, please visit Nature Photonics and Nature Physics. For more information or to request a copy please contact Stefan Strauf at strauf@stevens.edu or visit the group web page at www.stevens.edu/nanophotonics/.

For more information, please contact:

Stefan Strauf
Associate Professor
Burchard
Room 724
Phone: 201.216.5639
Fax: 201.216.5638
strauf@stevens.edu

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