Engineering photonic entanglement and its practical applications
MetadataShow full item record
The quantum description of light offers a unique set of optical effects that has led to promising applications beyond those described by classical physics. Although well-defined quantum states of light do not persist in typical classical environments, phenomena such as entanglement often enhance optical approaches to communication, measurement, and sensing. With the emergence of new tasks in classical and quantum optical technology, new tools are required that must be specifically engineered including the generation of quantum states. This thesis is concerned with three principle tasks in engineering and implementing entangled photonic states. First, the use of frequency anti-correlated and polarization entangled two-photon states generated during spontaneous parametric down conversion (SPDC) to precisely evaluate optical delays with quantum interferometry is demonstrated in a realistic commercially available optical telecommunication device. Second, the study of correlated orbital angular momentum (OAM) states for efficient object identification is presented. Finally, experimental efforts towards the development of sources for entangled weak coherent states are discussed. The generation of broadband entangled states leading to well-defined second order interference patterns is a necessary step for the application of low coherence quantum interferometry as a metrological device. The flexibility of non-uniformly chirped periodically poled nonlinear crystals offers a rich set of tools for precise state engineering. The experimental evaluation of a broadband source of polarization entanglement is presented. In addition, design considerations for applications that require optimized quantum interference features are discussed along with a numerical investigation of the limits of quantum interferometry with even order dispersion cancellation. We present an experimental demonstration of correlated OAM sensing exploiting the two-dimensional and correlated nature of states produced during SPDC projected onto the OAM basis. Efficient object recognition through the identification of azimuthal symmetries of arbitrary objects is achieved by observing the full two-photon joint OAM spectrum and focusing on non-conserved OAM components not found in the natural OAM spectrum of SPDC. Finally, quantum key distribution (QKD) is currently the most successful quantum optical application; however, a limiting trade off between the achievable rates and distances confines the approach to niche applications. The generation of entangled coherent states has been proposed to transition QKD into a new regime that would set aside single photons and two-photon entangled states for higher intensity coherent pulses. The key technical limitation that has prohibited the demonstration of such states is a reliable source of single-photon cross phase modulation. The plausibility and experimental efforts towards creating such an environment in a solid state device is presented.