Publications by Patrick Ledingham

Spectral-hole memory for light at the single-photon level

Physical Review A American Physical Society 93 (2016)

K Kutluer, MF Pascual-Winter, J Dajczgewand, P Ledingham, M Mazzera, T Chanelière, H De Riedmatten

We demonstrate a solid-state spin-wave optical memory based on stopped light in a spectral hole. A long-lived narrow spectral hole is created by optical pumping in the inhomogeneous absorption profile of a Pr3+:Y2SiO5 crystal. Optical pulses sent through the spectral hole experience a strong reduction of their group velocity and are spatially compressed in the crystal. A short Raman pulse transfers the optical excitation to the spin state before the light pulse exits the crystal, effectively stopping the light. After a controllable delay, a second Raman pulse is sent, which leads to the emission of the stored photons. We reach storage and retrieval efficiencies for bright pulses of up to 39% in a 5-mm-long crystal. We also show that our device works at the single-photon level by storing and retrieving 3-μs-long weak coherent pulses with efficiencies up to 31%, demonstrating the most efficient spin-wave solid-state optical memory at the single-photon level so far. We reach an unconditional noise level of (9±1)×10-3 photons per pulse in a detection window of 4μs, leading to a signal-to-noise ratio of 33±4 for an average input photon number of 1, making our device promising for long-lived storage of nonclassical light.

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