Single quantum emitters coupled to optical cavities in the Purcell regime can be used as high-efficiency spin-photon interfaces that are essential for building a quantum network. Furthermore, the dynamical control of the spontaneous emission rate of quantum emitters can have important implications in quantum technologies, e.g. for shaping the emitted photons waveform, or for driving coherently the optical transition while preventing photon emission. Here we demonstrate the dynamical Purcell-enhanced emission of a mesoscopic ensemble of erbium ions doped into nanocrystals coupled to a fully-tunable high-finesse fiber-based optical microcavity. Erbium has excellent optical and spin coherence properties at cryogenic temperatures and, in addition, has a transition in the telecom band that can facilitate integration into existing commercial telecom fibers. We show that we can tune the cavity on and out of resonance at a rate of above 8 KHz, which is two orders of magnitude faster that the natural lifetime of the erbium ions (55 Hz), and a factor of five faster than the Purcell enhanced emission (1.8 KHz). This allows us to shape in real time the Purcell enhanced emission of the ions and to achieve full control over the emitted photon’s waveforms. With moderate improvements in our detection efficiency and cavity finesse, this capability will allow for the generation of single telecom photons with controllable wave-shape from single erbium ions and for the realization of quantum processing between rare-earth ion qubits using dipolar interactions.
Nanoscale systems possessing long-lived spins and the ability to coherently couple to light are highly demanded for quantum devices implementations. Several approaches, like NV centers in diamond, semiconductor quantum dots are intensively investigated in the field, where an outstanding challenge is to preserve properties, and especially optical and spin coherence lifetimes, at the nanoscale. In this context, chemically synthesized Eu3+ doped Y2O3 nanoparticles have demonstrated great potential for quantum technologies based on their narrow optical homogeneous linewidth, down to the 10 kHz level, and millisecond-long spin coherence time. Here, we investigate an alternative nanoscale material: Pr3+: Y2O3. We first determine the Pr3+ hyperfine structure in Y2O3 by spectral hole burning and then measure photon and spin echoes from nanoparticles down to 150 nm. Spin T2 up to 880 μs was obtained for the ±3/2↔±5/2 hyperfine transition at 10.42 MHz, a value which exceeds that of bulk Pr3+doped crystals so far reported. These promising results confirm nanoscale Pr3+:Y2O3 as a very appealing candidate to integrate quantum devices.