Fibre VUV generation & applications

Fibre VUV generation & applications

Over the last few months (summer 2018) a new project has been shaping up, in collaboration with colleagues from the PCF division (Russell research group) at MPL.  The aim is to develop new ultrafast experiments based on their hollow-core PCFs, which can be used to provide tuneable UV and VUV. This work is part of our larger source development project, and will develop towards applications in photoelectron metrology and quantum optics (amongst others!).

More details to follow, but for now here are a few images of the work in progress…

THz-bandwidth all-optical switching of heralded single photons

THz-bandwidth all-optical switching of heralded single photons

June 2018 – New on arXiv.

Optically induced ultrafast switching of single photons is demonstrated by rotating the photon polarization via the Kerr effect in a commercially available single mode fiber. A switching efficiency of 97\% is achieved with a 1.7\,ps switching time, and signal-to-noise ratio of 800. Preservation of the quantum state is confirmed by measuring no significant increase in the second-order autocorrelation function g(2)(0). These values are attained with only nanojoule level pump energies that are produced by a laser oscillator with 80\,MHz repetition rate. The results highlight a simple switching device capable of both high-bandwidth operations and preservation of single-photon properties for applications in photonic quantum processing and ultrafast time-gating or switching.

Real-time spectral characterization of a photon pair source using a chirped supercontinuum seed

Real-time spectral characterization of a photon pair source using a chirped supercontinuum seed

New article in Optics Letters.

Jennifer Erskine, Duncan England, Connor Kupchak, and Benjamin Sussman

Optics Letters Vol. 43, Issue 4, pp. 907-910 (2018)

https://doi.org/10.1364/OL.43.000907

Photon pair sources have wide ranging applications in a variety of quantum photonic experiments and protocols. Many of these protocols require well controlled spectral correlations between the two output photons. However, due to low cross-sections, measuring the joint spectral properties of photon pair sources has historically been a challenging and time-consuming task. Here, we present an approach for the real-time measurement of the joint spectral properties of a fiber-based four wave mixing source. We seed the four wave mixing process using a broadband chirped pulse, studying the stimulated process to extract information regarding the spontaneous process. In addition, we compare stimulated emission measurements with the spontaneous process to confirm the technique’s validity. Joint spectral measurements have taken many hours historically and several minutes with recent techniques. Here, measurements have been demonstrated in 5–30 s depending on resolution, offering substantial improvement. Additional benefits of this approach include flexible resolution, large measurement bandwidth, and reduced experimental overhead.

 

Time-bin-to-polarization conversion of ultrafast photonic qubits

Time-bin-to-polarization conversion of ultrafast photonic qubits

Connor Kupchak, Philip J. Bustard, Khabat Heshami, Jennifer Erskine, Michael Spanner, Duncan G. England, and Benjamin J. Sussman
Phys. Rev. A 96, 053812 – Published 6 November 2017

The encoding of quantum information in photonic time-bin qubits is apt for long-distance quantum communication schemes. In practice, due to technical constraints such as detector response time, or the speed with which copolarized time-bins can be switched, other encodings, e.g., polarization, are often preferred for operations like state detection. Here, we present the conversion of qubits between polarization and time-bin encodings by using a method that is based on an ultrafast optical Kerr shutter and attain efficiencies of 97% and an average fidelity of 0.827±0.003 with shutter speeds near 1 ps. Our demonstration delineates an essential requirement for the development of hybrid and high-rate optical quantum networks.

Reading today…

Reading today…

Nonlinear quantum optics mediated by Rydberg interactions

O Firstenberg, C S Adams and S Hofferberth

Published 30 June 2016© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Volume 49, Number 15
Special Issue on Rydberg Atomic Physics

By mapping the strong interaction between Rydberg excitations in ultra-cold atomic ensembles onto single photons via electromagnetically induced transparency, it is now possible to realize a medium which exhibits a strong optical nonlinearity at the level of individual photons. We review the theoretical concepts and the experimental state-of-the-art of this exciting new field, and discuss first applications in the field of all-optical quantum information processing.

DOI: 10.1088/0953-4075/49/15/152003

Fascinating insight into the topic, which utilises the properties of Rydberg matter to enable traditional non-linear optics to cross over to the quantum regime. From the intro:

One remarkable success of advances in ultra-cold Rydberg physics is the realization of a medium with a large optical nonlinearity at the single photon level [1–3]. Highly excited Rydberg atoms bring something new to the history of optics as they enable quantum nonlinear media where photons are strongly interacting!

Recommended.

Reading today…

Reading today…

First On-Sky Fringes with an Up-Conversion Interferometer Tested on a Telescope Array

P. Darré, R. Baudoin, J.-T. Gomes, N. J. Scott, L. Delage, L. Grossard, J. Sturmann, C. Farrington, F. Reynaud, and T. A. Ten Brummelaar
Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 233902 – Published 29 November 2016

10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.233902

The Astronomical Light Optical Hybrid Analysis project investigates the combined use of a telescope array interferometer and nonlinear optics to propose a new generation of instruments dedicated to high-resolution imaging for infrared astronomy. The nonlinear process of optical frequency conversion transfers the astronomical light to a shorter wavelength domain. Here, we report on the first fringes obtained on the sky with the prototype operated at 1.55μm in the astronomical H band and implemented on the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy telescope array. This seminal result allows us to foresee a future extension to the challenging midinfrared spectral domain.

This is quite interesting as an application of photon up-conversion at low-light levels – in this case for interferometric IR telescope arrays.  The demo in the paper doesn’t show any improvement on the existing configuration (i.e. no non-linear optical step), but in principle could: once one factors in not just lossy detection in the IR, but also lossy beam transport (in the conceptually similar VLTI system it’s about 10% efficient).

The header image shows fig. 1 from the paper.

Phonon-Mediated Nonclassical Interference in Diamond

Phonon-Mediated Nonclassical Interference in Diamond

New paper in PRL:

Phonon-Mediated Nonclassical Interference in Diamond

Duncan G. England, Kent A. G. Fisher, Jean-Philippe W. MacLean, Philip J. Bustard, Khabat Heshami, Kevin J. Resch, and Benjamin J. Sussman
Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 073603 – Published 11 August 2016

 

Quantum interference of single photons is a fundamental aspect of many photonic quantum processing and communication protocols. Interference requires that the multiple pathways through an interferometer be temporally indistinguishable to within the coherence time of the photon. In this Letter, we use a diamond quantum memory to demonstrate interference between quantum pathways, initially temporally separated by many multiples of the optical coherence time. The quantum memory can be viewed as a light-matter beam splitter, mapping a THz-bandwidth single photon to a variable superposition of the output optical mode and stored phononic mode. Because the memory acts both as a beam splitter and as a buffer, the relevant coherence time for interference is not that of the photon, but rather that of the memory. We use this mechanism to demonstrate nonclassical single-photon and two-photon interference between quantum pathways initially separated by several picoseconds, even though the duration of the photons themselves is just 250fs.

Frequency and bandwidth conversion of single photons in a room-temperature diamond quantum memory

Frequency and bandwidth conversion of single photons in a room-temperature diamond quantum memory

Our recent paper on quantum optical signal processing is now published in Nature Communications:

Frequency and bandwidth conversion of single photons in a room-temperature diamond quantum memory
Nature Communications 7, 11200, 2016
Kent A.G. Fisher, Duncan G. England, Jean-Philippe W. MacLean, Philip J. Bustard, Kevin J. Resch & Benjamin J. Sussman

The spectral manipulation of photons is essential for linking components in a quantum network. Large frequency shifts are needed for conversion between optical and telecommunication frequencies, while smaller shifts are useful for frequency-multiplexing quantum systems, in the same way that wavelength division multiplexing is used in classical communications. Here we demonstrate frequency and bandwidth conversion of single photons in a room-temperature diamond quantum memory. Heralded 723.5 nm photons, with 4.1 nm bandwidth, are stored as optical phonons in the diamond via a Raman transition. Upon retrieval from the diamond memory, the spectral shape of the photons is determined by a tunable read pulse through the reverse Raman transition. We report central frequency tunability over 4.2 times the input bandwidth, and bandwidth modulation between 0.5 and 1.9 times the input bandwidth. Our results demonstrate the potential for diamond, and Raman memories in general, as an integrated platform for photon storage and spectral conversion.

April 2016 – Article in Nature Communications

Oct. 2015 – Article on the arxiv

Reading today…

Reading today…

Quantum imaging with undetected photons

Gabriela Barreto Lemos, Victoria Borish, Garrett D. Cole, Sven Ramelow, Radek Lapkiewicz & Anton Zeilinger

Nature 512, 409–412 (2014)

doi:10.1038/nature13586

Interferometric imaging based on photon pairs, from the intro:

Information is central to quantum mechanics. In particular, quantum interference occurs only if there exists no information to distinguish between the superposed states. The mere possibility of obtaining information that could distinguish between overlapping states inhibits quantum interference1, 2. Here we introduce and experimentally demonstrate a quantum imaging concept based on induced coherence without induced emission3, 4. Our experiment uses two separate down-conversion nonlinear crystals (numbered NL1 and NL2), each illuminated by the same pump laser, creating one pair of photons (denoted idler and signal). If the photon pair is created in NL1, one photon (the idler) passes through the object to be imaged and is overlapped with the idler amplitude created in NL2, its source thus being undefined. Interference of the signal amplitudes coming from the two crystals then reveals the image of the object. The photons that pass through the imaged object (idler photons from NL1) are never detected, while we obtain images exclusively with the signal photons (from NL1 and NL2), which do not interact with the object. Our experiment is fundamentally different from previous quantum imaging techniques, such as interaction-free imaging5 or ghost imaging6, 7, 8, 9, because now the photons used to illuminate the object do not have to be detected at all and no coincidence detection is necessary. This enables the probe wavelength to be chosen in a range for which suitable detectors are not available. To illustrate this, we show images of objects that are either opaque or invisible to the detected photons. Our experiment is a prototype in quantum information—knowledge can be extracted by, and about, a photon that is never detected.