Sub-cycle switching of a photonic bandstructure via ultrastrong light-matter coupling
1 Department of Physics, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
2 Department of Physics, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany
3 NEST, Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR and Scuola Normale Superiore, 56127 Pisa, Italy
4 Laboratorio TASC, CNR-IOM, Area Science Park, 34149 Trieste, Italy
Phase-locked multi-terahertz transients map out the full photonic bandstructure of a one-dimensional photonic crystal while a 12-fs control pulse activates ultrastrong interaction on a sub-cycle time scale with quantized electronic transitions in semiconductor quantum wells. We trace the build-up dynamics of a large vacuum Rabi splitting and observe an unexpected asymmetric formation of the upper and lower polariton bands. The pronounced flattening of the photonic bands causes a slow-down of the group velocity by one order of magnitude on the time scale of the oscillation period of light.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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