Date: 10 Mar 2010

Photonic Molecules and Spectral Engineering

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Abstract

This chapter reviews the fundamental optical properties and applications of photonic molecules (PMs) – photonic structures formed by electromagnetic coupling of two or more optical microcavities (photonic atoms). Controllable interaction between light and matter in photonic atoms can be further modified and enhanced by the manipulation of their mutual coupling. Mechanical and optical tunability of PMs not only adds new functionalities to microcavity-based optical components but also paves the way for their use as testbeds for the exploration of novel physical regimes in atomic physics and quantum optics. Theoretical studies carried on for over a decade yielded novel PM designs that make possible lowering thresholds of semiconductor microlasers, producing directional light emission, achieving optically induced transparency, and enhancing sensitivity of microcavity-based bio-, stress-, and rotation sensors. Recent advances in material science and nano-fabrication techniques make possible the realization of optimally tuned PMs for cavity quantum electrodynamic experiments, classical and quantum information processing, and sensing.