The integration of rare-earth ions in an on-chip photonic platform would enable quantum repeaters and scalable quantum networks. While ensemble-based quantum memories have been routinely realized, implementing single rare-earth ion qubit remains an outstanding challenge due to its weak photoluminescence. Here we demonstrate a nanophotonic platform consisting of yttrium vanadate (YVO) photonic crystal nanobeam resonators coupled to a spectrally dilute ensemble of Nd ions. The cavity acts as a memory when prepared with spectral hole burning, meanwhile it permits addressing of single ions when high-resolution spectroscopy is employed. For quantum memory, atomic frequency comb (AFC) protocol was implemented in a 50 ppm Nd:YVO nanocavity cooled to 480 mk. The high-fidelity quantum storage of time-bin qubits is demonstrated with a 80% efficient WSi superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD). The small mode volume of the cavity results in a peak atomic spectral density of <10 ions per homogeneous linewidth, suitable for probing single ions when detuned from the center of the inhomogeneous distribution. The high-cooperativity coupling of a single ion yields a strong signature (20%) in the cavity reection spectrum, which could be detected by our efficient SNSPD. We estimate a signal-to-noise ratio exceeding 10 for addressing a single Nd ion with its 879.7nm transition. This, combines with the AFC memory, constitutes a promising platform for preparation, storage and detection of rare-earth qubits on the same ship.
Rare-earth-ion doped crystals are state-of-the-art materials for optical quantum memories and quantum transducers between optical and microwave photons. Here we describe our progress towards a nanophotonic quantum memory based on a rare-earth (Neodymium) doped yttrium orthosilicate (YSO) photonic crystal resonator. The Purcell-enhanced coupling of the 883 nm transitions of Neodymium (Nd3+) ions to the nano-resonator results in increased optical depth, which could in principle facilitate highly efficient photon storage via cavity impedance matching. The atomic frequency comb (AFC) memory protocol can be implemented in the Nd:YSO nano-resonator by efficient optical pumping into the long-lived Zeeman state. Coherent optical signals can be stored and retrieved from the AFC memory. We currently measure a storage efficiency on par with a bulk crystal Nd:YSO memory that is millimeters long. Our results will enable multiplexed on-chip quantum storage and thus quantum repeater devices using rare-earth-ions.
With an assortment of narrow line-width transitions spanning the visible and IR spectrum and long spin coherence times, rare-earth doped crystals are the leading material system for solid-state quantum memories. Integrating these materials in an on-chip optical platform would create opportunities for highly integrated light-matter interfaces for quantum communication and quantum computing. Nano-photonic resonators with high quality factors and small mode volumes are required for efficient on-chip coupling to the small dipole moment of rare-earth ion transitions. However, direct fabrication of optical cavities in these crystals with current nanofabrication techniques is difficult and unparallelized, as either exotic etch chemistries or physical milling processes are required. We fabricated hybrid devices by mechanically transferring a nanoscale membrane of gallium arsenide (GaAs) onto a neodymium-doped yttrium silicon oxide (Y2SiO5) crystal and then using electron beam lithography and standard III-V dry etching to pattern nanobeam photonic crystal cavities and ring resonator cavities, a technique that is easily adapted to other frequency ranges for arbitrary dopants in any rare earth host system. Single crystalline GaAs was chosen for its low loss and high refractive index at the transition wavelength. We demonstrated the potential to evanescently couple between the cavity field and the 883 nm 4I9/2- 4F3/2 transition of nearby neodymium impurities in the host crystal by examining transmission spectra through a waveguide coupled to the resonator with a custom-built confocal microscope. The prospects and requirements for using this system for scalable quantum networks are discussed.