Generation of Narrow-Bandwidth Single Photons using EIT in Atomic Ensembles
Author(s): P. Walther, M. D. Eisaman, A. André, F. Massou, M. Fleischhauer, A. S. Zibrov
DOI Number: 10.1142/S0219749907002773
Link: Link to publication
We review recent experiments [M. D. Eisaman et al., Nature438 (2005) 837] demonstrating the generation of narrow-bandwidth single photons using a room-temperature ensemble of 87Rb atoms. Our method involves creation of an atomic coherence via Raman scattering and projective measurement, followed by the coherent transfer of this atomic coherence onto a single photon using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). The single photons generated using this method are shown to have many properties necessary for quantum information protocols, such as narrow bandwidths, directional emission, and controllable pulse shapes. The narrow bandwidths of these single photons (~MHz), resulting from their matching to the EIT resonance (~MHz), allow them to be stored in narrow-bandwidth quantum memories. We demonstrate this by using dynamic EIT to store and retrieve the single photons in a second ensemble for storage times up to a few microseconds. We also describe recent improvements to the single-photon fidelity compared to the work by M. D. Eisaman in Nature438 (2005) 837. These techniques may prove useful in quantum information applications such as quantum repeaters, linear-optics quantum computation, and daytime free-space quantum communication.