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Optical nanofibers interfacing cold toms. A tool for quantum optics

Abstract : We built a new experiment using cold atoms interacting with the light guided by an optical nanofiber. We first developed a nanofiber manufacturing bench. By heating and stretching a commercial optical fiber, a silica cylinder of 400 nm diameter is obtained. The light guided in these nanofibers is strongly focused over the whole length and exhibits strong evanescent fields. We then prepared a vacuum chamber and the laser system necessary for the manipulation of cold atoms. After inserting a nanofiber amid a cloud of cold atoms, we observed the phenomenon of slow light under the conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency: the light guided by the fiber is slowed down to a speed 3000 times smaller than its usual speed. We also stored the light guided by an optical fiber. After several microseconds, the information stored as a collective atomic excitation could be retrieved in the fiber. We have shown that this optical memory works for light pulses containing less than one photon on average. This system may therefore be used as a quantum memory, an essential tool for future quantum communication networks. Finally, we trapped atoms in an array in the vicinity of the nanofiber thanks to the light guided by the latter. Compared to our first set of experiments, the resulting cloud has a longer lifetime (25 ms) and interacts more strongly with the guided light (OD ~ 100). This new system should allow to efficiently implement other quantum optics protocols, such as the generation of single photons, or the entanglement of two remote atomic ensembles.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 5, 2016 - 10:01:26 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 10:08:18 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01359867, version 1


Baptiste Gouraud. Optical nanofibers interfacing cold toms. A tool for quantum optics. Optics [physics.optics]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066026⟩. ⟨tel-01359867⟩



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