Bistable optical transmission through arrays of atoms in free space

Parmee, Christopher and Ruostekoski, Janne (2021) Bistable optical transmission through arrays of atoms in free space. Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 103 (3): 033706. ISSN 2469-9926

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We determine the transmission of light through a planar atomic array beyond the limit of low light intensity that displays optical bistability in the mean-field regime. We develop a theory describing the intrinsic optical bistability, which is supported purely by resonant dipole-dipole interactions in free space, showing how bistable light amplitudes exhibit both strong cooperative and weak single-atom responses and how they depend on the underlying low light intensity collective excitation eigenmodes. Similarities of the theory with optical bistability in cavities are highlighted, while recurrent light scattering between atoms takes on the role of cavity mirrors. Our numerics and analytic estimates show a sharp variation in the extinction, reflectivity, and group delays of the array, with the incident light completely extinguished up to a critical intensity well beyond the low light intensity limit. Our analysis paves a way for collective nonlinear optics with cooperatively responding dense atomic ensembles.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Additional Information:
© 2021 American Physical Society
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? atomic and molecular physics, and optics ??
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Deposited On:
03 Mar 2021 15:34
Last Modified:
16 May 2024 02:34