Comptes Rendus
Light propagation in a solid doped with erbium ions: From ultraslow light to the superluminal regime
Comptes Rendus. Physique, Volume 10 (2009) no. 10, pp. 927-937.

In this article we report on ultraslow or fast light propagation, exciting behavior that become achievable thanks to the Coherent Population Oscillations effect (CPO). We show that the group velocity, the speed at which light propagates, can be drastically modified and engineered using the CPO effect in a crystal doped with triply ionized erbium ions, namely: Er3+:Y2SiO5. The steep dispersion of the index of refraction caused by the CPO effect is at the origin of group velocities as low as vg=3 m/s. By inverting the slope of the index dispersion, we can make, in the same crystal, light go faster than if it was propagating in vacuum. This particular regime is characterized by larger than c or negative group velocities. In the 3-mm-long Er3+:Y2SiO5 crystal, we have achieved a delay of 0.2 ms corresponding to a group velocity of vg=15 m/s.

Dans cet article, nous décrivons la propagation ultralente et superluminale de la lumière, deux comportements étranges qui sont rendus possible grace à l'Oscillation Cohérente de Population (OCP). Nous montrons que la vitesse de groupe, vitesse de propagation de la lumière, peut être radicalement altérée et manipulée à l'aide de l'OCP dans un cristal dopé aux ions Erbium triplement ionsés : Er3+ :Y2SiO5. La forte dispersion de l'indice de refraction causée par l'effet OCP est à l'origine de vitesses de groupe aussi faibles que vg=3 m/s. En inversant le signe de la dispersion de l'indice de refraction, il est possible d'atteindre un régime où la lumière se propage plus vite que dans le vide. Celui-ci est caractérisé par des vitesses de groupes supérieures à c ou par des vitesses de groupe negatives. Dans le cristal Er3+ :Y2SiO5 long de 3 mm, nous avons obtenu des retards optiques de 0.2 ms correspondant à une vitesse de groupe vg=15 m/s.

Published online:
DOI: 10.1016/j.crhy.2009.10.013
Keywords: Slow light, Rare-earth ion-doped crystal, Coherent population oscillation
Mot clés : Lumière lente, Cristal dopé aux ions terres rares, Oscillation cohérente de population

Elisa Baldit 1; Stephan Briaudeau 2; Paul Monnier 1; Kamel Bencheikh 1; Ariel Levenson 1

1 Laboratoire de photonique et de nanostructures LPN-CNRS, route de Nozay, 91460 Marcoussis, France
2 CNAM, 61, rue du Landy, 93210 La Plaine Saint Denis, France
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Elisa Baldit; Stephan Briaudeau; Paul Monnier; Kamel Bencheikh; Ariel Levenson. Light propagation in a solid doped with erbium ions: From ultraslow light to the superluminal regime. Comptes Rendus. Physique, Volume 10 (2009) no. 10, pp. 927-937. doi : 10.1016/j.crhy.2009.10.013. https://comptes-rendus.academie-sciences.fr/physique/articles/10.1016/j.crhy.2009.10.013/

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