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Title: Room temperature caesium quantum memory for quantum information applications
Author: Michelberger, Patrick Steffen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 6926
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Quantum memories are key components in photonics-based quantum information processing networks. Their ability to store and retrieve information on demand makes repeat-until-success strategies scalable. Warm alkali-metal vapours are interesting candidates for the implementation of such memories, thanks to their very long storage times as well as their experimental simplicity and versatility. Operation with the Raman memory protocol enables high time-bandwidth products, which denote the number of possible storage trials within the memory lifetime. Since large time-bandwidth products enable multiple synchronisation trials of probabilistically operating quantum gates via memory-based temporal multiplexing, the Raman memory is a promising tool for such tasks. Particularly, the broad spectral bandwidth allows for direct and technologically simple interfacing with other photonic primitives, such as heralded single photon sources. Here, this kind of light-matter interface is implemented using a warm caesium vapour Raman memory. Firstly, we study the storage of polarisation-encoded quantum information, a common standard in quantum information processing. High quality polarisation preservation for bright coherent state input signals can be achieved, when operating the Raman memory in a dual-rail configuration inside a polarisation interferometer. Secondly, heralded single photons are stored in the memory. To this end, the memory is operated on-demand by feed-forward of source heralding events, which constitutes a key technological capability for applications in temporal multiplexing. Prior to storage, single photons are produced in a waveguide-based spontaneous parametric down conversion source, whose bespoke design spectrally tailors the heralded photons to the memory acceptance bandwidth. The faithful retrieval of stored single photons is found to be currently limited by noise in the memory, with a signal-to-noise ratio of approximately 0.3 in the memory output. Nevertheless, a clear influence of the quantum nature of an input photon is observed in the retrieved light by measuring the read-out signal's photon statistics via the g(2)-autocorrelation function. Here, we find a drop in g(2) by more than three standard deviations, from g(2) ~ 1.69 to g(2) ~ 1.59 upon changing the input signal from coherent states to heralded single photons. Finally, the memory noise processes and their scalings with the experimental parameters are examined in detail. Four-wave-mixing noise is determined as the sole important noise source for the Raman memory. These experimental results and their theoretical description point towards practical solutions for noise-free operation.
Supervisor: Walmsley, Ian Alexander Sponsor: EU ; Marie Curie
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physics ; Laser Physics ; Quantum Optics ; Nonlinear Optics ; Atomic Physics ; Nonlinear optics ; Quantum memory ; Quantum information ; Caesium ; Quantum optics ; Raman transitions ; Quantum process tomography ; Pulsed lasers ; Atomic vapour ; Spontaneous parameteric down-conversion ; Quantum computing ; Single photons ; Alkali atoms ; Four wave mixing