Physical Review Letters

„Anomalous Behaviors of Quantum Emitters in Non-Hermitian Baths“

23. November 2022

Both non-Hermitian systems and the behavior of emitters coupled to structured baths have been studied intensely in recent years. Here, we study the interplay of these paradigmatic settings. In a series of examples, we show that a single quantum emitter coupled to a non-Hermitian bath displays a number of unconventional behaviors, many without Hermitian counterpart. We first consider a unidirectional hopping lattice whose complex dispersion forms a loop. We identify peculiar bound states inside the loop as a manifestation of the non-Hermitian skin effect. In the same setting, emitted photons may display spatial amplification markedly distinct from free propagation, which can be understood with the help of the generalized Brillouin zone. We then consider a nearest-neighbor lattice with alternating loss. We find that the long-time emitter decay always follows a power law, which is usually invisible for Hermitian baths. Our Letter points toward a rich landscape of anomalous quantum emitter dynamics induced by non-Hermitian baths.

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