Almost 60 years ago Dicke introduced the term superradiance to describe a signature quantum effect: N atoms can collectively emit light at a rate proportional to N-2. Structures that superradiate must also have enhanced absorption, but the former always dominates in natural systems. Here we show that this restriction can be overcome by combining several well-established quantum control techniques. Our analytical and numerical calculations show that superabsorption can then be achieved and sustained in certain simple nanostructures, by trapping the system in a highly excited state through transition rate engineering. This opens the prospect of a new class of quantum nanotechnology with potential applications including photon detection and light-based power transmission. An array of quantum dots or a molecular ring structure could provide a suitable platform for an experimental demonstration.
- SUPERRADIANT LASER