Photon Blockade with Ground-State Neutral Atoms
We show that induced dipole-dipole interactions allow for photon blockade in subwavelength ensembles of two-level, ground-state neutral atoms. Our protocol relies on the energy shift of the single-excitation, superradiant state of Natoms, which can be engineered to yield an effective two-level system. A coherent pump induces Rabi oscillation between the ground state and a collective bright state, with at most a single excitation shared among all atoms. The possibility of using clock transitions that are long-lived and relatively robust against stray fields, alongside new prospects on experiments with subwavelength lattices, makes our proposal a promising alternative for quantum information protocols.