A single quantum emitter can possess a very strong intrinsic nonlinearity, but its overall promise for nonlinear effects is hampered by the challenge of efficient coupling to incident photons. Common nonlinear optical materials, on the other hand, are easy to couple to but are bulky, imposing a severe limitation on the miniaturization of photonic systems. In this work, we show that a single organic molecule acts as an extremely efficient nonlinear optical element in the strong coupling regime of cavity quantum electrodynamics. We report on single-photon sensitivity in nonlinear signal generation and all-optical switching. Our work promotes the use of molecules for applications such as integrated photonic circuits, operating at very low powers.
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Single-Molecule Vacuum Rabi Splitting: Four-Wave Mixing and Optical Switching at the Single-Photon Level A. Pscherer, M. Meierhofer, D. Wang, Hrishikesh Kelkar, D. Martín-Cano, T. Utikal, S. Götzinger, and V. Sandoghdar Physical Review Letter 127, 133603 (2021)
Simulating the photon stream of a real thermal light source R. Schneider, C. Biernoth, J. Hölzl, A. Pscherer, and J. von Zanthier Applied Optics 57(24), 7076-7080 (2018)