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Resolved-sideband Raman cooling of an optical phonon in semiconductor materials

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 25 April 2019


The radiation pressure of light has been widely used to cool trapped atoms or the mechanical vibrational modes of optomechanical systems. Recently, by using the electrostrictive forces of light, spontaneous Brillouin cooling and stimulated Brillouin excitation of acoustic modes of the whispering-gallery-type resonator have been demonstrated. The laser cooling of specific lattice vibrations in solids (that is, phonons) proposed by Dykman in the late 1970s, however, still remains sparsely investigated. Here, we demonstrate the first strong spontaneous Raman cooling and heating of a longitudinal optical phonon (LOP) with a 6.23 THz frequency in polar semiconductor zinc telluride nanobelts. We use the exciton to resonate and assist photoelastic Raman scattering from the LOPs caused by a strong exciton–LOP coupling. By detuning the laser pump to a lower (higher) energy-resolved sideband to make a spontaneous scattering photon resonate with an exciton at an anti-Stokes (Stokes) frequency, the dipole oscillation of the LOPs is photoelastically attenuated (enhanced) to a colder (hotter) state.

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Figure 1: Crystalline structure and LOP modes of the zincblende semiconductor ZnTe.
Figure 2: Principle of the resolved-sideband cooling and amplification in semiconductors.
Figure 3: Resolved-sideband cooling results of the LOP pumped at the red-detuned resolved sideband.
Figure 4: Amplification results of the LOP pumped at a blue-detuned resolved sideband.


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The authors acknowledge M.S. Kim for stimulating discussions. J.Z. acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 11574305 and no. 51527901), China MOST (grant no. 2016YFA0301200) and the National Young 1000 Talent Plan of China. J.Z. and Q.X. acknowledge support from the LU JIAXI International team program supported by the K.C. Wong Education Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Q.X. acknowledges major support from the Singapore National Research Foundation through a Fellowship grant (NRF-RF2009-06) and an Investigatorship Award (NRF-NRFI2015-03) and the Singapore Ministry of Education via two AcRF Tier 2 grants (MOE2011-T2-2-051 and MOE2013-T2-1-049). Q.X. also gratefully acknowledges partial support from the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (FA2386-13-1-4112), an international office of the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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J.Z. and Q.X. conceived the idea. J.Z. designed the experiments. J.Z., Q.Z. and X.W. performed the experiments and prepared the samples. J.Z., L.C.K. and Q.X. analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. All the authors read and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jun Zhang or Qihua Xiong.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Zhang, J., Zhang, Q., Wang, X. et al. Resolved-sideband Raman cooling of an optical phonon in semiconductor materials. Nature Photon 10, 600–605 (2016).

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