Resonant-light diffusion in a disordered atomic layer
Physical Review A
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Saint-Jalm, R., Aidelsburger, M., Ville, J., Corman, L., Hadzibabic, Z., Delande, D., Nascimbene, S., et al. (2018). Resonant-light diffusion in a disordered atomic layer. Physical Review A, 97 (6) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.97.061801
Light scattering in dense media is a fundamental problem of many-body physics, which is also relevant for the development of optical devices. In this work we investigate experimentally light propagation in a dense sample of randomly positioned resonant scatterers confined in a layer of sub-wavelength thickness. We locally illuminate the atomic cloud and monitor spatially-resolved fluorescence away from the excitation region. We show that light spreading is well described by a diffusion process, involving many scattering events in the dense regime. For light detuned from resonance we find evidence that the atomic layer behaves as a graded-index planar waveguide. These features are reproduced by a simple geometrical model and numerical simulations of coupled dipoles.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.97.061801
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/282776