March 27 2015

New Article: Phys. Rev. A 91, 033834 (2015)

Interfacing microwave qubits and optical photons via spin ensembles

Susanne Blum, Christopher O'Brien, Nikolai Lauk, Pavel Bushev, Michael Fleischhauer, and Giovanna Morigi
Phys. Rev. A 91, 033834 (2015)

A protocol is discussed which allows one to realize a transducer for single photons between the optical and the microwave frequency range. The transducer is a spin ensemble, where the individual emitters possess both an optical and a magnetic-dipole transition. Reversible frequency conversion is realized by combining optical photon storage, by means of electromagnetically induced transparency, with the controlled switching of the coupling between the magnetic-dipole transition and a superconducting qubit, which is realized by means of a microwave cavity. The efficiency is quantified by the global fidelity for coherently transferring a qubit excitation between a single optical photon and the superconducting qubit. We test various strategies and show that the total efficiency is essentially limited by the optical quantum memory: It can exceed 80% for ensembles of nitrogen-vacancy centers and approaches 99% for cold atomic ensemble, assuming state-of-the-art experimental parameters. This protocol allows one to bridge the gap between the optical and the microwave regime in order to efficiently combine superconducting and optical components in quantum networks.

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