Our research focuses on exploring new interconnections between disparate physical systems, primarily at the interface of light and matter. The frontiers of quantum physics lie not only in the manipulation of single particles but in the deliberate design of complex systems piece-by-piece with novel tailored properties. What tools can we utilize to control the fundamental quantum interactions between photons, atoms, nano-scale objects, and magnetism? How can we integrate these methods with the new and unique systems emerging in the broad field of “nanoscience"? These questions have a potential impact throughout the disciplines of photonics, quantum information, magnetism, nanomaterials, and nanoelectronics.
Confining photons to small volumes can enhance light-matter interactions and lead to quantum states formed by coherent superpositions of light and matter. In the Stern Group, we explore the novel polarization properties of hybrid light-matter quasiparticles, exciton-polaritons, that arise in monolayer 2D semiconductors embedded in microcavities. The valley-selective band structure of these materials lead to a new class of valley-selective light-matter quasiparticles with cavity-modified dynamics.