Nanophotonic rare-earth quantum memory with optically controlled retrieval

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Science  29 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6358, pp. 1392-1395
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5959

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A rare-earth quantum memory

The development of global quantum networks will require chip-scale optically addressable quantum memories for quantum state storage, manipulation, and state swapping. Zhong et al. fabricated a nanostructured photonic crystal cavity in a rare-earth-doped material to form a high-fidelity quantum memory (see the Perspective by Waks and Goldschmidt). The cavity enhanced the light-matter interaction, allowing quantum states to be stored and retrieved from the memory on demand. The high fidelity and small footprint of the device offer a powerful building block for a quantum information platform.

Science, this issue p. 1392; see also p. 1354


Optical quantum memories are essential elements in quantum networks for long-distance distribution of quantum entanglement. Scalable development of quantum network nodes requires on-chip qubit storage functionality with control of the readout time. We demonstrate a high-fidelity nanophotonic quantum memory based on a mesoscopic neodymium ensemble coupled to a photonic crystal cavity. The nanocavity enables >95% spin polarization for efficient initialization of the atomic frequency comb memory and time bin–selective readout through an enhanced optical Stark shift of the comb frequencies. Our solid-state memory is integrable with other chip-scale photon source and detector devices for multiplexed quantum and classical information processing at the network nodes.

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