Efficient Entangled Biphoton Production and Manipulation for Quantum Applications

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The creation and manipulation of biphotons is important for many applications in quantum optics and quantum information. Topics that benefit from efficient biphoton sources range from the most fundamental quantum science experiments to the highly applied fields of quantum communication and quantum computation. Biphoton sources have long been hailed as one of the leading methods for creating entangled photon pairs for tests of Bell's inequality, creating heralded photon pairs that are used in on-demand single-photon sources and heralded measurement techniques, and for quantum communication protocols to name a few. Specifically for quantum communication, biphoton sources are commonly used for cutting edge quantum key distribution (QKD) protocols.

In the first part of the thesis, I focus on realizing an efficient biphoton source that produces high yield photon pairs.

More specifically, I develop an optimized biphoton source using the nonlinear optical process of spontaneous parametric down-conversion in a second-order nonlinear crystal. I develop a formalism for predicting the two important metrics of a biphoton source: the heralding efficiency and joint count rate. I show how, from a large parameter space, one can tailor the phase matching of the nonlinear interaction to create a high quality biphoton source that produces both high heralding efficiency and high joint count rate. I achieve heralding efficiencies of 86$\pm$5$\%$ and joint count rates of 2.58$\pm$0.6 kHz per mW pump power. I show that using a collinear nondegenerate geometry allows for heralding efficiencies of up to 99.7$\%$ assuming no loss in the system. I verify the theoretical model with experimental results and find good agreement.

In the second part of the thesis I turn to manipulating the single photons born from the biphoton source for applications in creating single-photon spectrometers and time-frequency QKD systems. The security of QKD is only guaranteed if the two parties have access to a set of states called mutually unbiased states. I create a set of these states in time and their conjugate states in the frequency basis and show that I can manipulate single photon correlations in time and frequency so that an eavesdropper can be detected if she localizes a photon to a 1 ns time interval.

Additionally, in these experiments, I stretch a single photon wavepacket of 5-ps-width to a wavepacket of 8.3-ns-width and subsequently recompress it to at least the resolution of the detectors ($\sim$ 300 ps). This demonstrates a stretch factor of >1600 for a single-photon pulse using a group velocity dispersive material. To my knowledge, this is the largest reported stretch factor for a single-photon wavepacket produced by a biphoton source. The ability to stretch and recompress a single photon by this amount has applications in creating high-resolution, high-efficiency, single-photon spectrometers as well as advancing time-frequency QKD systems and other temporal pulse shaping applications.






Guilbert, Hannah (2015). Efficient Entangled Biphoton Production and Manipulation for Quantum Applications. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10476.


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