A Cavity-enhanced Narrow-band Multiphoton Source for Applications in Quantum Information

Shahrokhshahi, Reihaneh, Physics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Pfister, Olivier, Department of Physics, University of Virginia

This thesis presents experimental progress towards highly efficient generation of cavity- enhanced, narrow-band multiphotons using spontaneous parametric downconversion. It also suggests theoretical proposals for new applications of multiphoton sources in quantum information technology.
Photons prepared in Fock states, with a well-defined number of particles, are the essence of the quantum nature of light, and their unique nonclassical properties help us to develop quantum information technology. The generation of Fock states has been most commonly achieved by using spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) through the χ(2) nonlinearity in bulk crystals. During the SPDC process the nonlinear crystal emits photon-number correlated modes, and a photon-number- resolving measurement in one mode heralds the preparation of the other mode in a Fock state. The fidelity and the success rate of Fock state generation is limited by the multimode nature of SPDC emission. In this thesis, I will investigate the use of cavity-enhanced SPDC modes for higher fidelity photon pair generation, in which the well defined mode of the cavity is enhanced and results in the narrow-band source of the heralded single-photons with up to 80% heralding efficiency. The heralding efficiency is defined as the ratio between number of coincidences and single events on the heralding mode. The photon-number-resolving ability of high-quantum-efficiency transition edge sensors is used for the heralding and detection. We further discuss the feasibility of Fock state generation with higher photon numbers upon improving the data acquisition and analysis techniques. We also demonstrate and implement an interferometry scheme that exploit the phase of the photon and is capable of reading boundless bits of digital information using a single photon.
This thesis also introduces new theoretical proposals for using Fock states to obtain quantum advantages for various quantum information applications, here to increase the efficiency in reading out information stored in a classical digital memory and to discriminate optical phases with lower error rates than is feasible with classical protocols.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
cavity enhanced SPDC source, high heralding ratio, Fock state generation
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