We describe an approach to optical non-reciprocity that exploits the local helicity of evanescent electric fields in axisymmetric resonators. By interfacing an optical cavity to helicity-sensitive transitions, such as Zeeman levels in a quantum dot, light transmission through a waveguide becomes direction-dependent when the state degeneracy is lifted. Using a linearized quantum master equation, we analyze the configurations that exhibit non-reciprocity, and we show that reasonable parameters from existing cavity QED experiments are sufficient to demonstrate a coherent non-reciprocal optical isolator operating at the level of a single photon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics