Nature Communications 12, 3556 (2021)
J. Heckötter, V. Walther, S. Scheel, M. Bayer, T. Pohl and M. Aßmann
The ability to generate and control strong long-range interactions via highly excited electronic states has been the foundation for recent breakthroughs in a host of areas, from atomic and molecular physics to quantum optics and technology. Rydberg excitons provide a promising solid-state realization of such highly excited states, for which record-breaking orbital sizes of up to a micrometer have indeed been observed in cuprous oxide semiconductors. Here, we demonstrate the generation and control of strong exciton interactions in this material by optically producing two distinct quantum states of Rydberg excitons. This is made possible by two-color pump-probe experiments that allow for a detailed probing of the interactions. Our experiments reveal the emergence of strong spatial correlations and an inter-state Rydberg blockade that extends over remarkably large distances of several micrometers. The generated many-body states of semiconductor excitons exhibit universal properties that only depend on the shape of the interaction potential and yield clear evidence for its vastly extended-range and power-law character.