Researchers recently claimed that they were successful in successfully coupling light with a multilayer array of incredibly thin magnets. In their announcement, the researchers stated that they were able to produce a new type of magnetic quasiparticle. The finding, which was disclosed in a statement that was released by the Center for Discovery and Innovation at City College of New York, was the result of work that was carried out in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin. The finding has the potential to open the door to new methods of artificially constructing materials.
In the field of physics, a quasiparticle is a quantity of energy that is held within a system, such as a crystalline lattice, and contains some features that are comparable to how a particle acts. One example of such a system is a crystalline lattice. According to the findings of the researchers, one of the most important factors that contributed to their most recent accomplishment is the investigation of the singular interactions that can take place between light and matter.
The researchers wrote in a recent paper that they had published that “strong coupling between light and elementary excitations is emerging as a powerful tool to engineer the properties of solid-state systems.” They went on to explain that this type of coupling has proven to be useful in controlling various types of quantum phenomena that have been observed in the laboratory. This comprises the transitions that take place between the different magnetic phases.
According to Dr. Florian Dirnberger, the lead author of the latest study and one of the researchers that worked on it, “research in recent years brought up a number of atomically flat magnets that are extraordinarily well-suited to be researched by our approach.” According to Dirnberger, the study done by the team has shed light on a hitherto unnoticed field of research concerning light and the interactions that light has with magnetic crystals.
The researchers report in their paper that a “previously unobserved class of polaritonic quasiparticles emerges from the strong coupling” that takes place when such light and matter coupling is achieved with a specific kind of magnet known as an antiferromagnet. In other words, the researchers were able to couple light and matter by using an antiferromagnet. These magnets are purpose-built in order to generate a specific type of ordered magnetism, which was initially discovered through experimental research in the early 1930s.
According to what the researchers have said, “detailed spectroscopic investigation in conjunction with a microscopic theory provides unique insights into the formation and interactions of these exotic magnetically linked excitations.” The researchers say that their work “provides a path towards the design and control of correlated electron systems via cavity quantum electrodynamics.” In addition to incorporating antiferromagnets into physics research involving light-matter coupling, the researchers say that their work “brings antiferromagnets into the fold.”
The findings of their research have a number of potential applications in the real world, some of which include information systems as well as data storage and retrieval. Vinod M. Menon, a physicist at City College of New York and one of the leaders of the study, stated that “Implementing our approach with magnetic materials provides a viable avenue towards efficient magneto-optical effects.” Menon was one of the researchers that led the investigation. “Achieving this aim can enable the use of these materials for applications in common equipment like lasers, as well as for the digital storage of data.”
Moving forward, the group believes that the work they have done could lead to new discoveries about the relationship between quantum materials and the way in which light interacts with those materials. The team’s research was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology under the title “Spin-correlated exciton–polaritons in a van der Waals magnet.”