Fiber Fabry-Perot cavities, formed by micro-machined mirrors on the end-facets of optical fibers, are used in an increasing number of technical and scientific applications. Some of the most promising areas of application of these optical micro-resonators with high finesse and small mode volume are in the field of quantum communication and information. The resonator-enhanced light-matter interaction, for instance, provide basis for the realization of efficient optical interfaces between stationary matter-based quantum nodes and flying single-photon qubits. To date fiber Fabry-Perot cavities have been successfully applied in experiments interfacing single photons with a wide range of quantum systems, including cold atoms, ions and solid state emitters as well as quantum optomechanical experiments.
Here we address some important practical questions that arise during the experimental implementation of high finesse fiber Fabry-Perot cavities: How can optimal fiber cavity alignment be achieved and how can the efficiency of coupling light from the optical fibers to the cavity mode and vice versa be characterized? How should optical fiber cavities be constructed and stabilized to fulfill their potential for miniaturization and integration into robust scientific and technological devices that can operate outside of dedicated laboratory environments in the future?
The first two questions we answer with an analytic mode matching calculation that relates the alignment dependent fiber-to-cavity mode-matching efficiency to the easily measurable dip in the reflected light power at the cavity resonance. Our general analysis provides a simple recipe for the optimal alignment of fiber Fabry-Perot cavities and moreover for the first time explains the asymmetry in their reflective line shapes.
The latter question we explore by investigating a novel, intrinsically rigid fiber cavity design that makes use of the high passive stability of a monolithic cavity spacer and employs thermal self-locking and external temperature tuning. The performance of this novel approach is compared to a more traditional, piezomechanically-actuated resonator that is feedback stabilized to a reference laser based on the Pound-Drever-Hall locking technique.
Finally, with the application of single photon interfacing in mind we discuss the issue of fiber-generated background photons in Fiber Fabry-Perot cavities.
We believe that, due to their simplicity, compactness and robustness, rigid fiber cavities could be a promising solution for miniaturized, integratable and scalable cavity quantum electrodynamic devices and further applications of FFPC with similar requirements.