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Title: Quantum pulse shaping by direct temporal phase modulation
Author: Wright, Laura Jayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6063 3512
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Creating and controlling well-defined single-photon states is important for many quantum enhanced technologies. Information can be encoded in any degree of freedom associated with a single-photon field excitation, for example in the polarization or transverse spatial mode structure. The ability to encode multiple qubits in these states is desirable for high data transmission rates and increased information processing capacity. The spectral-temporal domain offers a large Hilbert space for encoding information, well suited to integrated optical architectures owing to the low cross-talk between channels. Indeed, time-frequency encoding is an integral component of existing information technologies infrastructure. Thus, complete, coherent control of the spectral-temporal mode structure of light is essential to advancing optical quantum technologies. Arbitrary control of single-photon states has been demonstrated in the polarization and spatial-momentum degrees of freedom however, is yet to be established in the spectral-temporal domain. Recently it was shown that spectral-temporal pulse shaping is experimentally feasible using nonlinear optical methods. However, such techniques can introduce noise photons, are challenging to implement deterministically and require specially prepared auxiliary pump pulses. Furthermore, they are typically only possible at relatively low repetition rates to avoid damage of nonlinear optical materials. Here, we demonstrate deterministic pulse shaping of single-photon wave packets by introducing a time-varying phase. Applying linear or quadratic phase to the wave packet introduces a spectral shift or spectral broadening, respectively. Achieving significant spectral manipulation requires temporal-phase modulation on the order of p. The phase must also vary on the same time scale as the optical pulses, approximately 1 ps in duration here. This relatively rapid phase variation is achieved using a fast electro-optic phase modulator. The modulator is driven by a time-varying voltage that is synchronized with a pulse train of single-photon wave packets for accurate temporal phase control. In this thesis, we experimentally demonstrate control of the spectral-temporal state of single-photon wave packets using this method. Heralded single-photon wave packets are generated by spontaneous parametric down conversion pumped by a frequency-doubled Titanium-Sapphire laser oscillator with 80 MHz repetition rate. To achieve significant modulation of single-photon pulses a 10 V peak-to-peak radio-frequency signal of 40 GHz drives the phase modulator, which requires approximately 3.6 V to achieve a p phase shift. The signal is synchronized with the oscillator pulse train using custom designed electronics. Details of these electronics are presented, resulting in a robust phase and amplitude controllable 40 GHz voltage source, phase locked to the single-photon pulse train. To demonstrate the utility of this pulse-shaping method we experimentally show spectral shearing of almost 1 nm for single-photon wave packets with 830 nm central wavelength and 1 nm bandwidth. Measurement of the second-order intensity correlation before and after the wave-packet manipulation remains constant within uncertainty of the measurement, showing that the quantum nature of the single-photon source is not deteriorated by the modulator. Preservation of the wave-packet coherence is verified by two-photon interference between spectrally sheared and non-modulated single-photons.
Supervisor: Smith, Brian J. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available