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Oberparleiter, Markus (2002): Effiziente Erzeugung verschränkter Photonenpaare. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics
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Abstract

Efficient Generation of Entangled Photon-Pairs The first experiments with correlated photons have been performed in the context of EPR-Bell experiments on the realistic and local properties of quantum mechanics. The source used there produced pairs of polarization entangled photons from a 2-photon decay of Calcium atoms. The technical requirements of these experiments were high (vacuum systems, stronge dye-lasers, etc.) whereas the efficiency of the source was quite low. An important step forward was the introduction of spontaneous parametric down conversion (SPDC), which has become the most common source in quantum optics for generating correlated or entangled photon pairs. In this process photons of an intense pump laser convert to photon pairs in an optical nonlinear crystal. Conservation of energy and momentum leads to strong correlations between the generated photons. With this kind of two-photon source it was possible to realize or improve many experiments on the foundations of quantum mechanics addressing the EPR-Paradoxon and in the new field of quantum information. But again, more advanced experiments and applications suffer from the limited ef- ficiency of the fluorescence process. Many photon pairs are lost by spatial and spectral filtering, which is necessary to achieve polarization entanglement and long coherence times. Different techniques have been implemented to increase the number of photon pairs using two-crystal arrangements, focusing techniques or periodically poled crystals. Most of these methods have the disadvantage that no entangled photons have been observed. It is the aim of this work to increase the yield and to improve the mode definition of entangled photon pairs generated by resonant enhancement of the pump mode and the fluorescence modes. As a first step a linear cavity for the pump mode was realized. Since the conversion probability is proportional to the pump power it was possible to increase the photon pair count rate by factor of 7 over the previous source. Besides the possibility of further improvement on already established pair correlation experiments, such an enhancement allows to build a compact source for photon pairs, in which an expensive argon-ion laser is replaced by a cheap diode laser. Among other applications such sources are of strong interest for quantum cryptography. 3 In many quantum information experiments optical fibers are use to carry the photons over long distance. Therefore, light from the parametric down-conversion source has to be efficiently coupled into fibers. In the second part we report on a new method to optimize collection efficiency by matching the angular distribution of the parametric fluorescence to the spatial mode of an optical fiber. By using this technique, we detected 366500 polarization-entangled photon pairs per second in the near-infrared region in single-mode optical fibers for 465 mW pump power (at 351.1 nm) with a 2 mm BBOcrystal. The entanglement of the photon pairs was verified by measuring polarization correlations of more than 96% in a HV-basis and in a ±45◦-basis. To our knowledge, such enormous count rates of highly entangled photon pairs have not been reached yet with any other technique. In the third part of this thesis we investigated the process of parametric downconversion in a cavity which is resonant to certain longitudinal down-conversion modes only. The idea of placing the parametric down-conversion source inside a cavity is not new. Such a device is usually referred to as a single or double resonant optical parametric oscillator (OPO) and is mainly used to generate squeezed quantum states. In that kind of application the system is operating close to but still under the threshold of oscillation. In our application the situation is quite different. The system is operating far below threshold so that mainly spontaneous emission occurs. In that mode correlations between single photons can still be observed. But bouncing the light back and forth inside the cavity increases the interaction length and hence enhances the signal levels of the down-conversion fields. Further, by resonating two certain modes only, the bandwidth is reduced by orders of magnitude and the coherence time is found to be inverse proportional to the bandwidth. A similar experiment has already been realized with a type-I parametric down-converter in the resonator. We have tried to realize a compact double resonant OPO far below threshold with a type-II parametric down-converter in a high-finesse cavity to realize a bright source of entangled photon pairs with extremely narrow bandwidth.