Polariton lattices: a solid-state platform for quantum simulations of correlated and topological states

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


The development of quantum simulation lacks compact on-chip scalable platforms. The recent
demonstrations of polariton lattices in semiconductor microcavities, in combination with their
extraordinary nonlinearities, place polaritons as one of the most promising candidates to achieve
this goal. The aim of this proposal is to implement polariton lattices in semiconductor
microcavities as a photonic-based solid-state platform for quantum simulations. The
polariton platform will allow for the engineering of the lattice geometry and site-to-site hoping, state
preparation and detection in individual sites, sensitivity to magnetic fields, and scalability due to the
low value of disorder. The driven-dissipative nature of the system opens the exciting possibility of
studying out-of-equilibrium strongly correlated phases, but it also calls for new theoretical
methods. We will combine the expertise in semiconductor physics and technology of four
experimental groups and the input of three theoretical groups to push polariton nonlinearities into
the strongly interacting regime. We plan on implementing the first polariton simulators by
studying quantum correlations and the topological phases in flat bans and in the presence
of artificial gauge field acting on polaritons in 1D and 2D lattice geometries, both
experimentally and theoretically. This project will provide the first quantum simulation platform
using scalable lattices at optical wavelengths.

Planned Impact

Our proposal has significant potential for impact over a range of time-scales in both the
academic community and industry. The latter is demonstrated by the letters of support
from three companies IBM, Hitachi and Oxford HighQ Ltd. The research proposed in the
project aims at creating the world-first polariton quantum simulator, an entirely new platform for
Quantum Simulation (the first Targeted Outcome). It will be characterized by significant photon-photon
interactions, thus enabling simulations of some of the most fundamental strongly-interacting
quantum models. One of the key features of this platform is its high degree of integration in micrometer
size semiconductor chips. It operates at optical frequencies where a wide variety of laser sources and
the best detectors for quantum measurements are available.


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Description New computational methods for driven-disspative lattice systems.
Exploitation Route The methods will now be used to study a wide range of physical problems
Sectors Other