Single-photon sources based on quantum dots have been shown to exhibit almost ideal properties such as high brightness and purity in terms of clear anti-bunching as well as high two-photon interference visibilities of the emitted photons, making them promising candidates for different quantum information applications such as quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum teleportation. However, as most single-photon sources also quantum dots typically emit light at wavelengths of electronic transitions within the visible or the near infrared range. In order to establish quantum networks with remote building blocks, low-loss single photons at telecom wavelengths are preferable, though. Despite recent progress on emitters of telecom-photons, the most efficient single-photon sources still work at shorter wavelengths. On that matter, quantum frequency down-conversion, being a nonlinear optical process, has been used in recent years to alter the wavelength of single photons to the telecom wavelength range while conserving their nonclassical properties. Characteristics such as lifetime, first-order coherence, anti-bunching and entanglement have been shown to be conserved or even improved due to background suppression during the conversion process, while the conservation of indistinguishability was yet to be shown.
Here we present our experimental results on quantum frequency down-conversion of single photons emitted by an InAs/GaAs quantum dot at 903.6 nm following a pulsed excitation of a p-shell exciton at 884 nm. The emitted fluorescence photons are mixed with a strong pump-field at 2155 nm inside a periodically poled lithium niobate ridge waveguide and converted to 1557 nm. Common issues of a large background due to Raman-scattered pump-light photons spectrally overlapping with the converted single photons could largely be avoided, as the pump-wavelength was chosen to be fairly longer than the target wavelength. Additional narrowband spectral filtering at the telecom regime as a result of the small conversion bandwidth and using a high-performance fiber-Bragg-grating solely left the detector dark counts as the only noise source in our setup. Therefore, we could achieve conversion efficiencies of more than 20 %. In order to test the indistinguishability, sequentially emitted photons were fed into a Mach-Zehnder interferometer and spatially as well as temporally overlapped at the output beam splitter. Cross-correlation measurements between both output-ports of the beam splitter exhibit two-photon interference contrasts of more than 40 % prior to and after the down-conversion step. Accordingly, we demonstrate that the process of quantum frequency conversion preserves photon indistinguishability and can be used to establish a versatile source of indistinguishable single photons at the telecom C-Band. Furthermore our scheme allows for converting photons in a wavelength band from 900 nm to 910 nm to the same telecom target wavelength. This enables us to test indistinguishability of frequency-converted photons, originally stemming from different sources with dinstinguishable wavelengths.
Benjamin Kambs, Jan Kettler, Matthias Bock, Jonas Becker, Carsten Arend, Michael Jetter, Peter Michler, and Christoph Becher, "Low-noise quantum frequency down-conversion of indistinguishable photons
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9900, Quantum Optics, 990013 (Presented at SPIE Photonics Europe: April 07, 2016; Published: 3 August 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2225932.5042345212001.
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