Exponential improvement in combinatorial optimization by hyperspins

Classical or quantum physical systems can simulate the Ising Hamiltonian for large-scale optimization and machine learning. However, devices such as quantum annealers and coherent Ising machines suffer an exponential drop in the probability of success in finite-size scaling. We show that by exploiting high dimensional embedding of the Ising Hamiltonian and subsequent dimensional annealing, the drop is counteracted by an exponential improvement in the performance. Our analysis relies on extensive statistics of the convergence dynamics by high-performance computing. We propose a realistic experimental implementation of the new annealing device by off-the-shelf coherent Ising machine technology. The hyperscaling heuristics can also be applied to other quantum or classical Ising machines by engineering nonlinear gain, loss, and non-local couplings.

Hyperscaling in the coherent hyperspin machine


Tsunami of light launched against 3D-printed tumor cells

Nature Communications 14, 4662 (2023)

Extreme waves are intense and unexpected wavepackets ubiquitous in complex systems. In optics, these rogue waves are promising as robust and noise-resistant beams for probing and manipulating the underlying material. Localizing large optical power is crucial especially in biomedical systems, where, however, extremely intense beams have not yet been observed. We here discover that tumor-cell spheroids manifest optical rogue waves when illuminated by randomly modulated laser beams. The intensity of light transmitted through bio-printed three-dimensional tumor models follows a signature Weibull statistical distribution, where extreme events correspond to spatially-localized optical modes propagating within the cell network. Experiments varying the input beam power and size indicate that the rogue waves have a nonlinear origin. We show that these nonlinear optical filaments form high-transmission channels with enhanced transmission. They deliver large optical power through the tumor spheroid, and can be exploited to achieve a local temperature increase controlled by the input wave shape. Our findings shed light on optical propagation in biological aggregates and demonstrate how nonlinear extreme event formation allows light concentration in deep tissues, paving the way to using rogue waves in biomedical applications, such as light-activated therapies.

Biosensing with free space whispering gallery mode microlasers

Highly accurate biosensors for few or single molecule detection play a central role in numerous key fields, such as healthcare and environmental monitoring. In the last decade, laser biosensors have been investigated as proofs of concept, and several technologies have been proposed. We here propose a demonstration of polymeric whispering gallery microlasers as biosensors for detecting small amounts of proteins down to 400 pg. They have the advantage of working in free space without any need for waveguiding for input excitation or output signal detection. The photonic microsensors can be easily patterned on microscope slides and operate in air and solution. We estimate the limit of detection up to 148 nm/RIU for three different protein dispersions. In addition, the sensing ability of passive spherical resonators in the presence of dielectric nanoparticles that mimic proteins is described by massive ab initio numerical simulations.


Observation of terahertz transition from Fano resonances to bound states in the continuum

Bound states in the continuum (BIC) in metamaterials have recently attracted attention for their promising applications in photonics. Here, we investigate the transition from Fano resonances to BIC, at terahertz (THz) frequencies, of a one-dimensional photonic crystal slab made of rectangular dielectric rods. Simulations performed by an analytical exact solution of the Maxwell equations showed that symmetry-protected, high-quality factor (Q), BIC emerge at normal incidence. For non-normal incidence, BIC couple with the freely propagating waves and appear in the scattering field as a Fano resonance. Simulations were verified by realizing the photonic crystal slab by 3D-printing technique. THz time-domain spectroscopy measurements as a function of the incidence angle matched the simulation to good accuracy and confirmed the evolution of Fano resonances to high-Q resonances typical of BIC. These results point out the design of highly sensitive and low-cost THz devices for sensing for a wide range of applications.