Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Labs

Femtosecond Laser Laboratory
Performing Atomic and Molecular Experiments in time domain ranging from picosecond to femtosecond.

We study the ultrafast dynamical processes in atomic and molecular systems
using femtosecond laser pulses. In atoms and molecules, the time scale of
nuclear dynamics ranges from picosecond to femtosecond while it is
attosecond for electron dynamics. We study these ultrafast dynamical
processes with a view to control them during reactions, leading to
formation of new molecules.

1. Femtosecond laser(Carrier Envelope Phase (CEP) stabilized): 800nm,
25fs, 10mJ at 1KHz and 3mJ at 5KHz.

2. Velocity Map Imaging Spectrometer.

3. Spectral Phase Interferometry for Direct Electric-field Reconstruction
(SPIDER) for femtosecond pulse characterization.

4. Grating-eliminated no-nonsense observation of ultrafast incident laser
light e-fields (GRENOUILLE) for pulse characterization.

Equipments are installed on anti-vibration floor isolation area and in cleanroom (ISO 7).
Photonic Sciences Laboratory
The main objectives of the Photonic Science Lab. are to study the interaction of the spatial structured of the optical beams with nonlinear crystal and generation of new structured optical beam tunable across UV to THz wavelength range in all time scales (continuous-wave to femtosecond). We also work on the generation of high brightness entangled photon source with hybrid and high dimensional entangled states as required for quantum communication.

We have two 10K class clean rooms under the Photonic Science Lab. The entire lab is divided into five labs involved in five different projects. In principle, we can have 10-15 people working simultaneously using the currently available infrastructure. Unfortunately, the total strength of the group is small. These five labs are dedicated to work on the study of femtosecond structured beams to generate ultrafast structured beams at different wavelengths across the EM spectra, studying the effect of spatial structures of the interacting beams in high harmonic generation process, study the effect of the spatial structure of the pump beam in the near-IR and mid-IR wavelength and transferring to THz wavelength range, the effect of continuous-wave laser beam and design of novel experimental schemes for control transfer of the orbital angular momentum of the pump beam to the generated beams and study of entangled photons, their generation and increase of the dimensionality of the entangled states and hybrid entanglement studies. The Photonic Science lab. stated in the year 2014. To date, we have published more than 37 articles in international peer-reviewed journals of a high standard and three students got their Ph.D. degree working with the existing lab. facilities.

Various laser systems including High energy Ti: Sapphire laser system, mid-IR ultrafast laser at 2360 nm, femtosecond and continuous-wave fiber lasers at 1064 nm, high coherence length continuous-wave blue laser,

Various detection systems EMCCD, ICCD, cameras covering UV to THz wavelength range

Vacuum pumps and vacuum chambers

Cleanroom facility of class 10K.

As mentioned before, the Photonic Science lab. stated in the year 2014. To date, we have published more than 37 articles in international peer-reviewed journals of a high standard and three students got their Ph.D. degrees working with the existing lab. facilities. Therefore, it is indeed very difficult to make a list of important results. The notable contributions of the Photonics Sciences are,

• We have provided the first experimental demonstration of tunable, coherent radiation in Airy intensity profile using optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) at various time scales (continuous-wave to femtosecond). Airy beams are diffraction free beams propagating along curved trajectories in free space and restoring its shape even after obstruction by small objects. Generation of Airy beam using OPO can be considered as a breakthrough in the field of structured optical beams.

• Using a single vortex beam that carries photons with orbital angular momentum (OAM), we have demonstrated controlled switching of OAM among optical beams at different wavelengths. Since OAM has infinite dimensions, OAM switching is essential in both classical and quantum communications. This is a generic and novel approach and accepted in Optica, one of the finest journals in the field of optics and photonics. 

• Phenomena of the annihilation of two photons with OAM was demonstrated and it was shown that the annihilation of OAM of two laser beams produces a new laser beam in doughnut-shaped hollow Gaussian intensity profile without OAM not in Gaussian intensity profile. This study shows the possibility of OAM manipulation (addition and subtraction) of the photons, as required for quantum computation and communication. This is the first report on OAM annihilation and a new approach to generate hollow Gaussian beams. It was accepted in Nature Scientific Reports.

• We have generated optical vortices and “perfect” vortices in the deep ultraviolet (266 nm), and visible wavelengths using nonlinear interaction of ultrafast lasers. While such beams are essential for spectroscopy, optical trapping, and tweezing, this work demonstrates the only technique to produce vortex beams at these wavelengths. As such these experimental demonstrations have started a new field of nonlinear interaction of spatially structured beams at high power/energy levels.

• It was demonstrated using spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) that the angular spectrum of the entangled photons does not depend on the OAM content of the pump beam but depends on its spatial distribution. This is the first report on SPDC photons generated using perfect vortices. We have established the fact that OAM of the vortices does not play any role in the spatial structure of the single photons.

• We have also developed a high brightness entangled photon source for long-distance free space and quantum space communication and demonstrated the possibility of generating quantum state directly from a classical state. A hybrid entangled two-photon quantum state through the SPDC of classical non-separable state of pump beam was generated as proof-of-principle. Such hybrid entangled states are used in quantum information science and supersensitive measurement of angular displacement in remote sensing.

• Some of these results such as the development of compact, high power, structured beam sources are essential for both basic research and technological applications. Similarly, a high brightness entangled photon source could be used for testing of the foundation of quantum optics. We have also developed few advance experiments including optical tweezers to trap micron-sized silica particles, broadband optical cloaking, quantum eraser, speckle interferometer, and coupling of the evanescent wave using optical fiber for outreach activities. Such experiments were demonstrated to more than 10000 students in Gujarat.

The Photonic Science Lab is a state-of-art laboratory to work on high-end research in the field of nonlinear and quantum optics. This is one of the very few laboratories in India working in the fields of experimental quantum optics. The laboratory also has active collaboration with various groups/labs of India and abroad. The photonic sciences laboratories also help P.hD. students of different Institutes and Universities of India through hands-on experiments.
Quantum Science and Technology Laboratory