Strong light–matter coupling: Seminar of the Laboratory of Hybrid Photonic Nanomaterials and Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, NRNU MEPhI

April 26 two MEPhI laboratories, Laboratory of Hybrid Photonic Nanomaterials (LPNM) and Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering (LNBE), held a joint seminar on the phenomenology, mechanisms, conditions of formation, experimental implementations, and potential practical applications of the strong coupling effect.

In the first part of the seminar, Professor Yriy Rakovich, the leading scientist of LPNM, gave a lecture on light–matter interaction in the strong coupling regime.

Strong coupling of the excitonic and photonic states results from reversible exchange of energy between an excited state of atomic excitonic systems or molecules and electromagnetic field. This leads to the formation of two new hybrid states separated in energy. This modification of the energy spectrum allows controlled influence on various fundamental properties of coupled matter, such as the conductivity and chemical reactivity.

The lecture included detailed description of mathematical models suggested for explaining how strong coupling is formed and criteria for strong coupling, as well as various types of coupled systems where this phenomenon has been observed experimentally, the main groups of them being ensembles of oscillators or single oscillator paced into different types of microcavities and ensembles of excitons or single molecules of fluorophores in plasmon cavities.

Prof. Rakovich summarized and systematized the strong coupling effects known to date: enhanced nonradiative energy transfer and energy transfer between separated entangled molecules, modified chemical reaction rate, enhanced conductivity, Enhanced Raman scattering, strong collective X-ray–nucleus interaction, high-harmonic generation, and Bose–Einstein condensation and coherent emission.

In conclusion, Prof. Rakovich dwelled upon the potential practical applications of strong light–matter coupling in various fields, including photonics, chemistry, nonlinear optics, as well as designing coherent emission sources, and indicated the most challenging technical problems researchers are going to face in developing the devices using the strong coupling effect.

In the second part of the seminar, Prof. Rakovich and Dmitry Dovzhenko, research engineer, presented a comprehensive report on strong light–matter coupling summarizing the proceedings of the Conference on Strong Coupling with Organic Molecules (SCOM18) that was held in mid-April in Eindhoven Technical University, the Netherlands, which both of them attended, and available literature data (including their own published studies).

Having touched upon the physical nature, conditions of emergence, and variants of experimental implementation of strong coupling, the researchers told about the expressions of strong coupling directly related to the practical implications of this effect, in particular, plasmon–exciton–polariton lasing, the possibility of lasing based on a biologically produced fluorescent protein (enhanced green fluorescent protein), the use of strong coupling to control photochemical reactions, energy transfer under strong coupling, and developing a nanophotonic structure containing a living photosynthetic bacteria. A list of compounds for which the possibility of strong coupling has been experimentally demonstrated or theoretically predicted was presented.

In addition, a recently patented LPNM's development was presented. This is a tunable microcavity for obtaining light–matter coupled states, which extends the possibilities of studying the strong and weak coupling effects and for using the coupling effect to modulate physical, chemical, and biological processes.


Prof. Yuriy P. Rakovich, leading scientist (

Laboratory of Hybrid Photonic Nanomaterials
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)
31 Kashirskoe shosse, 115409 Moscow, Russian Federation

Dmitriy S. Dovzhenko, research engineer (

Maria G. Korenkova, director of external relations (

Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)
31 Kashirskoe shosse, 115409 Moscow, Russian Federation

© 2012 Laboratory of Nano-BioEngineering