Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A giant electro-optic effect using polarizable dark states

Mohapatra, A.K.; Bason, M.G.; Butscher, B.; Weatherill, K.J.; Adams, C.S.


A.K. Mohapatra

M.G. Bason

B. Butscher


The electro-optic effect, where the refractive index of a medium is modified by an electric field, is of central importance in nonlinear optics, laser technology, quantum optics and optical communications. In general, electro-optic coefficients are very weak and a medium with a giant electro-optic coefficient could have profound implications for precision electrometry and nonlinear optics at the single-photon level. Here we propose and demonstrate a giant d.c. electro-optic effect on the basis of polarizable (Rydberg) dark states. When a medium is prepared in a dark state consisting of a superposition of ground and Rydberg energy levels, it becomes transparent and acquires a refractive index that is dependent on the energy of the highly polarizable Rydberg state. We demonstrate phase modulation of the light field in the Rydberg-dark-state medium and measure an electro-optic coefficient that is more than six orders of magnitude larger than in usual Kerr media.


Mohapatra, A., Bason, M., Butscher, B., Weatherill, K., & Adams, C. (2008). A giant electro-optic effect using polarizable dark states. Nature Physics, 4(11), 890-894.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2008
Deposit Date Sep 24, 2010
Publicly Available Date Oct 6, 2010
Journal Nature Physics
Print ISSN 1745-2473
Electronic ISSN 1745-2481
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 11
Pages 890-894


You might also like

Downloadable Citations