Superabsorption in an organic microcavity: Toward a quantum battery

James Q. Quach, Kirsty E. Mcghee, Lucia Ganzer, Dominic M. Rouse, Brendon W. Lovett, Erik M. Gauger, Jonathan Keeling, Giulio Cerullo, David G. Lidzey, Tersilla Virgili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)
380 Downloads (Pure)


The rate at which matter emits or absorbs light can be modified by its environment, as markedly exemplified by the widely studied phenomenon of superradiance. The reverse process, superabsorption, is harder to demonstrate because of the challenges of probing ultrafast processes and has only been seen for small numbers of atoms. Its central idea-superextensive scaling of absorption, meaning larger systems absorb faster-is also the key idea underpinning quantum batteries. Here, we implement experimentally a paradigmatic model of a quantum battery, constructed of a microcavity enclosing a molecular dye. Ultrafast optical spectroscopy allows us to observe charging dynamics at femtosecond resolution to demonstrate superextensive charging rates and storage capacity, in agreement with our theoretical modeling. We find that decoherence plays an important role in stabilizing energy storage. Our work opens future opportunities for harnessing collective effects in light-matter coupling for nanoscale energy capture, storage, and transport technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabk3160
JournalScience Advances
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2022


  • quant-ph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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