Infrared to ultraviolet quantum frequency conversion in micron-scale periodically poled titanium-diffused lithium niobate waveguides
Snyder, John William
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The quantum nature of light at the single photon level allows for unique applications that classical physics neither predicts nor describes. Most notably, appropriate conditions may cause the states of photons with indistinguishable properties to become entangled, enabling novel approaches to quantum computation, secure communications, and metrology. Any operational quantum information network transporting entangled-photon states must establish a high-fidelity link between its distant nodes despite the inherent fragility of entangled states. However, the lack of a universal operating wavelength for all optical devices makes this a substantial challenge. Telecommunication fibers, entangled photon pair sources, quantum optical memories, and quantum repeaters all function in disparate spectral windows dictated by the properties of the materials used to fabricate them. Quantum frequency conversion (QFC), the single-photon limit of nonlinear parametric sum and difference frequency generation in optics, offers a bridge between spectral regions with full preservation of quantum state character, including entanglement. Periodically poled optical waveguides in ferroelectric crystals are versatile tools in nonlinear optics. Confining the nonlinear interaction to a waveguide greatly enhances its efficiency compared to bulk optics. Periodic poling, the process of periodically inverting the domains of a ferroelectric medium using a strong electric field, enables a variety of quasi-phase matching configurations to engineer a desired nonlinear interaction. This work concentrates on the design, development, fabrication, and characterization of a titanium-diffused periodically poled lithium niobate (Ti:PPLN) waveguide device. This device is designed to execute single-step quantum frequency conversion from 369.5nm to 1550nm in order to facilitate a quantum state transfer between standard fiber telecommunication wavelengths and an atomic quantum memory system employing trapped ytterbium ions. The creation of phase matching conditions for such an extreme distance in frequency demands precise control of high magnitude electric fields on the single-micron scale. As the first demonstration of its kind in Ti:PPLN, the development of these devices included novel improvements to existing fabrication methods, improving the state-of-the-art of precision, quality, and yield for poling of ferroelectric crystals.
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