Optical quantum memories with cold atomic ensembles : a free space implementation for multimode storage, or a nanofiber-based one for high collection efficiency

Abstract : We present an experimental study of two optical quantum memory systems based on electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) in cold cesium atoms.We explain the relevance of quantum memories for the development of large-scale quantum networks, we give a comprehensive theory of the EIT phenomenon and underline the role of relevant parameters regarding the implementation of quantum memories.The first system under study is prepared in a free-space magneto-optical trap. The main result of this thesis is the demonstration of the spatial multimode capability of this system at the quantum level. For this, we used Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) light beams, i.e. beams possessing a non-zero value of orbital angular momentum (OAM). In a first step, we showed that the orbital angular momentum of stored light pulses is preserved by the memory, deep in the single photon regime. In a second step, we encoded information in the orbital angular momentum state of a weak light pulse and defined a qubit using two LG beams of opposite helicities. We developed an original setup for the measurement of this OAM qubit and used it to characterize the action of the memory during the storage of such a light pulse. Our results show that the memory performs the quantum storage of such a qubit.The second system under study, also a cloud of cold atoms, has the specificity that the atoms are trapped optically in the vicinity of a nano-waveguide. This innovative design ensures a higher light-matter interaction and facilitates the interfacing of photons into and out of the memory. We describe the building of this setup and the first steps towards quantum memory implementations.
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Adrien Nicolas. Optical quantum memories with cold atomic ensembles : a free space implementation for multimode storage, or a nanofiber-based one for high collection efficiency. Physics [physics]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014PA066494⟩. ⟨tel-01127631⟩

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