An international research team led by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities has produced a quantum state that is part light and part matter. The research has implications for the next generation of quantum-based optical and electronic devices, and may also contribute to increasing the efficiency of nanoscale chemical reactions.

The researchers achieved ultrastrong coupling between infrared light and matter by trapping light in tiny annular holes in a thin layer of gold. The holes were as small as 2 nm, or 25,000× smaller than the width of a human hair.

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