Efficient and long-lived multimode quantum memories are crucial devices in the development of quantum technolgies. The reversible mapping of quantum states of light in rare earth doped crystals represents one of the most promising routes towards the realization of this goal. Such systems are also compatible with the miniaturization of quantum memories in integrated optics platforms, which offer unique features in terms of experimental scalability and enhanced light-matter interaction. Here, we fabricate single mode channel waveguides for 606 nm light in a praseodymium-doped yttrium orthosilicate crystal (Pr3+:Y2SiO5), that, thanks to its excellent coherence properties, is a widely studied material for light storage experiments. Waveguides are inscribed by femtosecond laser writing, adopting the so-called Type I configuration, where the core is directly obtained at the irradiated area. Remarkably, fabricating this kind of waveguides in crystals is a difficult task, as it requires to operate in a very narrow processing parameters window, if existing. We then use these waveguides for performing the storage and retrieval of single photons, implementing the atomic frequency comb protocol. We achieve a storage time of 5,5 µs, which is almost 2 orders of magnitude longer than previous realizations of quantum light storage in a waveguide. In addition, we investigate the potential information multiplexing capabilities of our system by performing the quantum storage of single photons delocalized over 14 different spectral modes. Our results show that laser written waveguides in rare earth-doped solid state systems are very promising for the development of efficient and long-lived multimode quantum memories.
The reversible mapping of quantum states of light in cryogenically cooled rare earth doped crystals, represents one of the most promising routes towards the realization of efficient and high fidelity quantum memories. The miniaturization of these devices in robust and monolithic integrated-optics platforms would be beneficial both in terms of experimental scalability and of enhanced light-matter interaction, arising from the waveguide field confinement.
Here, for the first time, we fabricate single mode channel waveguides for visible light at 606 nm in a Praseodymium-doped Yttrium Orthosilicate crystal, which is one of the most employed materials for light storage experiments, thanks to its excellent coherence properties. For the waveguide fabrication, we use the direct technique called femtosecond laser micromachining, in which a femtosecond laser beam is focused inside the crystal volume, and produces a permanent and very localized material modification. In particular, we fabricate the waveguide cladding by inscribing a pair of parallel damage tracks which confine light in the in-between region. With this approach, the waveguide core is not directly exposed to the laser irradiation and consequently its bulk properties result only marginally affected. Measurements of the optical coherence time in waveguide gave results comparable to those obtained in a bulk sample and this confirms that the fabrication procedure does not affect the coherence of the active ions. We performed the storage and the on-demand recall of bright coherent pulses in waveguide, using the atomic frequency comb (AFC) protocol extended to the ground state.