Karolina Słowik

Assistant professor at the Institute of Physics
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń


Theory of light-matter interactions in engineered environments: from optically dressed media to nanophotonic devices

ResearcherID: B-9402-2017
Google Scholar: oqNU7OoAAAAJ

Portrait photo

My scientific interests combine atomic physics, quantum optics and nanophotonics. The interface of these vast fields seems especially appealing. My work is focused on theoretical investigations of light-matter interactions and light propagation in thoroughly designed environments. The scientific output can be classified along a few lines of research. Light propagation and storage in optically dressed atomic media was the subject of my undergraduate and doctoral studies. More recently, the focus was shifted to the coupling of electromagnetic fields and atomic systems at the vicinity of plasmonic nanostructures. From time to time, satellite topics appear.

  • 1. Photonic nanostructures

    Nano- and microstructures, usually made of metals, allow one to tailor spatial distributions of surrounding electromagnetic fields and their spectral profile. These structures can be exploited to modify the character of interactions between the tailored light and adjacent atomic systems: e.g. quantum dots or molecules. With this influence a plethora of novel effects is unlocked, an example of which is a step beyond the paradigmatic electric-dipole character of interactions.

  • 2. Quantum optics

    Quantum photonic networks require good-quality photon sources, high-fidelity optical elements like beam splitters and phase shifters, and efficient detectors. All these components can be built on standard optical tables, but miniaturization is inevitable if photonic networks are to be eventually used for everyday applications. Microscale realizations of quantum photonic devices and networks are at focus of this research line.

  • 3. Dressed atomic media

    Ensembles of atoms subject to coherent radiation exhibit tunable optical properties, usually described in terms of electric susceptibility. Resonant probe beams propagating through such medium can be coherently processed: stored, multiplexed, or made to interact with each other through a nonlinear medium. Applications include quantum memories for photons, quantum signal processors, and quantum logic gates.