Ultrafast Quantum Control of Atoms and Molecules: A Density Matrix

Jan 24, 2018

Iduabo John Afa, Presentation date: January 24, 2018

Author: Iduabo John Afa
Title: Ultrafast Quantum Control of Atoms and Molecules: A Density Matrix
Director: Prof. Carles Serrat Jurado
Presentation date: January 24, 2018
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Control is important for transferring theoretical scientific knowledge into practical technology for applications in numerous fields. This is why coherent control study is significant on every timescale to have a complete understanding of dynamic processes that occur on the electron, atomic and molecular levels. As a result, numerous schemes have been proposed to carry out effective quantum control of diverse systems and study the dynamics of these systems based on their natural timescales from the picoseconds (10^–12 s), femtosecond (10^–15 s) to attosecond (10^–18 s) regimes. The goals of these various studies depend on the desired application, for instance in Photochemistry a long standing objective is achieving selective population transfer from an initial state to a desired target state with little or no diminution in the energy transferred. In quantum computation, a central issue is the excitation of unoccupied Rydberg states with numerous proposals for its use in the design and implementation of robust fast quantum gates. Also, since the advent of the generation of attosecond XUV pulses, doors have been opened for achieving control of atomic-scale electron dynamics and observing them in real-time. This thesis explores the modelling of dynamical light-matter interaction processes, like effective population inversion and generation of vibrational coherences in atoms and molecules, on their fundamental timescales using the density matrix (DM) theory under and beyond the rotating wave approximation (RWA). The thesis begins by introducing the concept of coherent control of simple quantum systems based on the DM formalism and expands the application to a more complex Oxazine system. Multiphoton π-pulse scheme is demonstrated for the control of population transfer in multilevel systems, for example with a trichromatic π-pulse having a set of areas √3 π, 2π and √3 π, complete population transfer in a four level system can be achieved. The aforementioned scheme is used to achieve effective control of low-lying Rydberg states in rubidium atoms, demonstrating how the effective control can be crucially affected by numerous physical processes. One main advantage of the density matrix approach over other theoretical approaches is that it allows the possibility of easily computing relaxation terms and other physical parameters critical to successful coherent control. The DM formalism is shown to be successful in properly describing the enhancement effects in atoms and complex molecular systems. It is robust in coherent control and quantum control spectroscopy (QCS) schemes and is extendable to numerous systems and geometric configurations. In the last part of the thesis, experiments on laser dressing processes in attosecond transient absorption spectroscopy are compared to numerical simulations using the DM analysis beyond the RWA. The research in this thesis opens a pathway to numerous studies using the DM formalism for applications in diverse fields of femtochemistry, attophysics, high precision spectroscopy and quantum information processing.