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Frontiers of Optoelectronics

Front. Optoelectron.    2018, Vol. 11 Issue (2) : 148-154
Franson interferometry with a single pulse
Eric Y. ZHU1(), Costantino CORBARI2, Alexey V. GLADYSHEV3, Peter G. KAZANSKY2, Li QIAN1
1. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G4, Canada
2. Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
3. Fiber Optics Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119333, Russia
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In classical optics, interference occurs between two optical fields when they are indistinguishable from one another. The same holds true in quantum optics, where a particular experiment, the Franson interferometer, involves the interference of a photon pair with a time-delayed version of itself. The canonical version of this interferometer requires that the time delay be much shorter than the coherence length of the pump used to generate the photon pair, so as to guarantee indistinguishability. However, when this time delay is comparable to the coherence length, conventional wisdom suggests that interference visibility degrades significantly. In this work, though, we show that the interference visibility can be restored through judicious temporal post-selection. Utilizing correlated photon pairs generated by a pump whose pulsewidth (460 ps) is shorter than the interferometer’s time delay (500 ps), we are able to observe a fringe visibility of 97.4±4.3%. We believe this new method can be used for the encoding of high-dimensional quantum information in the temporal domain.

Keywords quantum optics      quantum interference      nonlinear optics      optical fibers     
Corresponding Authors: Eric Y. ZHU   
Just Accepted Date: 28 May 2018   Online First Date: 26 June 2018    Issue Date: 04 July 2018
 Cite this article:   
Eric Y. ZHU,Costantino CORBARI,Alexey V. GLADYSHEV, et al. Franson interferometry with a single pulse[J]. Front. Optoelectron., 2018, 11(2): 148-154.
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Eric Y. ZHU
Costantino CORBARI
Fig.1  Experimental setup for the standard Franson interferometer. A photon pair (red, green pulses) is generated inside a second-order nonlinear (NL) medium by a high energy pump (blue). Each photon in the pair is then sent through an unbalanced Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) that adjusts the phase js, ji of each photon independently. Coincidence measurements are performed using single photon detectors (SPDs) so that the photon arrival times (ts, ti) are measured
Fig.2  (a) Interference between two photon pairs generated at the trailing and leading edges of the same pump pulse can occur when their temporal wavepackets overlap (shaded region). In (b) and (c), the simulated coincidence rates are plotted as a function of the signal and idler arrival times (ts,ti) using Eq. (4) and parameters given in Table 1. The white box in each plot corresponds to the shaded region in (a)
parameter symbol value
MZI imbalance t 500 ps
(characteristic) pulsewidth th 300 ps
single photon bandwidth D 124 GHz
signal photon arrival time ts variable
idler photon arrival time ti variable
region of interest ROI | tsti|2Δ ,
| ts+ti τ| tROI,
with tROI = 100 ps
Tab.1  Simulation (and experimental) parameters
Fig.3  Interference visibility V of our interferometer is plotted as a function of the ROI size tROI for various MZI imbalance values t; the pulsewidth th is kept constant (see Table 1). At t = 500 ps, which corresponds to our experimental value, the visibility moves toward unity as the ROI becomes smaller (V = 0.945 is observed at tROI = 100 ps), and approaches an asymptotic value of 0.23 when the ROI increases
Fig.4  Experimentally-obtained coincidence intensity plot. Antinode (a) and node (b) are observed when the relative phase of the interferometer is varied from 0° to 180°
Fig.5  Effect of post-selection on the interference visibility. The insets show the regions of the coincidence intensity plots used to extract the interference fringes. (a) When the temporally post-selected region includes the entirety of the short-short and long-long events, a low visibility of 22.1% is observed. (b) However, when only the ROI (Table 1) is post-selected, a significantly greater visibility (89.8%) is observed
Fig.6  Point spread function of our measurement system (single photon detectors and time-interval analyzer)
Fig.7  (a) Deconvolving out the PSF reveals a coincidence intensity plot with finer features; (b) these finer features result in much higher, near unity fringe visibilities
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