Microscopic optical buffering in a harmonic potential

M. Sumetsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the early days of quantum mechanics, Schrödinger noticed that oscillations of a wave packet in a one-dimensional harmonic potential well are periodic and, in contrast to those in anharmonic potential wells, do not experience distortion over time. This original idea did not find applications up to now since an exact one-dimensional harmonic resonator does not exist in nature and has not been created artificially. However, an optical pulse propagating in a bottle microresonator (a dielectric cylinder with a nanoscale-high bump of the effective radius) can exactly imitate a quantum wave packet in the harmonic potential. Here, we propose a tuneable microresonator that can trap an optical pulse completely, hold it as long as the material losses permit, and release it without distortion. This result suggests the solution of the long standing problem of creating a microscopic optical buffer, the key element of the future optical signal processing devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18569
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

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