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Published April 20, 2016 | Published + Supplemental Material
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Experimental realization of Bloch oscillations in a parity-time synthetic silicon photonic lattice


As an important electron transportation phenomenon, Bloch oscillations have been extensively studied in condensed matter. Due to the similarity in wave properties between electrons and other quantum particles, Bloch oscillations have been observed in atom lattices, photonic lattices, and so on. One of the many distinct advantages for choosing these systems over the regular electronic systems is the versatility in engineering artificial potentials. Here by utilizing dissipative elements in a CMOS-compatible photonic platform to create a periodic complex potential and by exploiting the emerging concept of parity-time synthetic photonics, we experimentally realize spatial Bloch oscillations in a non-Hermitian photonic system on a chip level. Our demonstration may have significant impact in the field of quantum simulation by following the recent trend of moving complicated table-top quantum optics experiments onto the fully integrated CMOS-compatible silicon platform.

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© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 19 May 2015; Accepted 14 Mar 2016; Published 20 Apr 2016. This work was jointly supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grants 2012CB921503, 2013CB632700 and 2015CB659400) and the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grants 11134006, 11474158 and 61378009). M.-H.L. also acknowledges the support of Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20140019) and the support from Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education (PAPD). W.S.F. and A.S. acknowledge Boeing for their support under their SRDMA program and also thank the NSF CIAN ERC (Grant EEC-0812072). Author contributions: Y.-L.X., W.S.F., M.-H.L. and X.-P.L. conceived the idea and designed the devices. Y.-L.X. performed the FDTD simulations, W.S.F. designed the chip layout and fabricated the devices, and L.G. carried out the SNOM measurements. All the authors contributed to discussion of the project. A.S., Z.-Y.L. and Y.-F.C. guided the project. Y.-L.X., X.-P.L. and M.-H.L. wrote the manuscript with revisions from other authors. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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