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Title:Pure sources and efficient detectors for optical quantum information processing
Author(s):Zielnicki, Kevin
Director of Research:Kwiat, Paul G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cooper, S. Lance
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kwiat, Paul G.; Errede, Steven M.; Stack, John D.
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Quantum Information
Spontaneous Parameteric Downconversion (SPDC)
Single-Photon Detection
Visible Light Photon Counter (VLPC)
Quantum Physics
Abstract:Over the last sixty years, classical information theory has revolutionized the understanding of the nature of information, and how it can be quantified and manipulated. Quantum information processing extends these lessons to quantum systems, where the properties of intrinsic uncertainty and entanglement fundamentally defy classical explanation. This growing field has many potential applications, including computing, cryptography, communication, and metrology. As inherently mobile quantum particles, photons are likely to play an important role in any mature large-scale quantum information processing system. However, the available methods for producing and detecting complex multi-photon states place practical limits on the feasibility of sophisticated optical quantum information processing experiments. In a typical quantum information protocol, a source first produces an interesting or useful quantum state (or set of states), perhaps involving superposition or entanglement. Then, some manipulations are performed on this state, perhaps involving quantum logic gates which further manipulate or entangle the intial state. Finally, the state must be detected, obtaining some desired measurement result, e.g., for secure communication or computationally efficient factoring. The work presented here concerns the first and last stages of this process as they relate to photons: sources and detectors. Our work on sources is based on the need for optimized non-classical states of light delivered at high rates, particularly of single photons in a pure quantum state. We seek to better understand the properties of spontaneous parameteric downconversion (SPDC) sources of photon pairs, and in doing so, produce such an optimized source. We report an SPDC source which produces pure heralded single photons with little or no spectral filtering, allowing a significant rate enhancement. Our work on detectors is based on the need to reliably measure single-photon states. We have focused on optimizing the detection efficiency of visible light photon counters (VLPCs), a single-photon detection technology that is also capable of resolving photon number states. We report a record-breaking quantum efficiency of 91 +/- 3% observed with our detection system. Both sources and detectors are independently interesting physical systems worthy of study, but together they promise to enable entire new classes and applications of information based on quantum mechanics.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Kevin Zielnicki
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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