Advanced optical excitation for generating optical quantum bits

Would you like to have an insight into how quantum light is generated for future quantum information technologies? Would you like to have hands-on experience on how to manipulate a classical light source for efficient quantum light generation? In our lab, you will have the opportunity to do such cool stuff with some of the state-of-the-art facilities, while learning a lot about the field of quantum photonics.

Hvad går øvelsen ud på?

We are working on the development of future quantum computers. Quantum computer is predicted to efficiently solve many tasks, for example, the problems within quantum chemistry, that are intractable on classical computers.

In optical quantum computing, the quantum bits (Qubits) are encoded in single photons. Therefore, a bright, stable, and on-demand source of indistinguishable single photons is essential to perform efficient optical quantum information processing.

In order to generate thousands of highly indistinguishable single photons, we need to develop an advanced optical excitation scheme.

Some of the most recent and advanced excitation schemes rely on coherent excitation through a pair of slightly detuned laser pulses. Upon absorption of the pulses, the quantum dot is driven to populate its upper energy level, and, eventually, the emission of the single photons can take place.

To generate the two pulses from a single laser pulse that we have in our laboratory, it is necessary to somehow select and filter out only the wavelength that we want.

How is it possible to do that? Before answering to this question, we should also mention that the duration of a single laser pulse is of the order of 150fs (1000e-15) and, unfortunately, there is no way of manipulating such fast pulses in the temporal domain relying on some electrical devices.

Hvordan foregår øvelsen?

To singularly address the spectral components of the pulses we need to separate them in the spatial domain. Such a result can be achieved thanks to the dispersion of light given by a grating. Dispersion is an optical phenomenon according to which the phase velocity of a wave depends on its frequency.

In the experimental exercise, we will try to understand how a grating works and how can we implement it for the generation of the above-mentioned detuned pulses, which we need to efficiently excite a quantum dot.

To do this, we will first implement a halogen lamp producing a white light featuring a broad spectrum, a diffraction (reflective or refractive) grating, a lens to collect the light in an optical fiber, and ultimately, a spectrometer to check what wavelength we managed to collect.

In this way, we can get an idea of how to proceed into the more complex and delicate task of spectrally selecting very narrow and neighbouring frequencies. What is more, the selected wavelength from the laser which we need is not even visible to the human naked eye!

Believe it or not, the quantum dots will lighten up when we shine them with those two laser pulses even if both of them are at a different frequency than the emitter.

Hvilke faciliteter kommer du til at bruge?

You have the opportunity to enter and work in a state-of-the-art quantum optical lab, equipped with advanced tools such as Femtosecond Laser, Optical Parametric Oscillator, Spectrometer, Single-Photon Detector, Microscope, and many more optics tools.

Tilmeldingen til SRP-øvelser åbner 15. december 2023 kl. 12.00

The data from the exercise will help you understand the diffraction property of light and how light can be manipulated for better light-matter interaction.

In addition, this exercise will be key for the efficient generation of single photons for quantum information technology applications.

  • 09:00-10:00 Introduction and brief theoretical discussion about what we are going to do and see in the lab
  • 10:00-11:30 First experiment with the diffraction grating
  • 11:30-12:30 Lunch (bring your own, or have some money for the canteen)
  • 12:30-14:30 Second experiment with quantum dots
  • 14:30-15:00 Final discussions

The final output of the experiment will be given by the optical spectrum of the generated two-pulses, compared to the spectrally broad fs-laser.

Furthermore, we can also look at the frequency of the light emitted by single quantum emitters.

All of this is possible thanks to the spectrometer that we have on our optical table (and surprise surprise, the working principle of such a spectrometer is based on another diffraction grating!).

The file produced is a specific and dedicated one, however, we can decide to export the data simply as two arrays of numbers in a .txt or .xls: one for the wavelengths and the other for the number of counts for each wavelength.

You will be able to plot and look at the spectra using simple tools, for instance, the ones provided by Microsoft 365. If you're able to play the collected data with Python and Matlab, you’re very welcome to do that.

  • Fysik: The exercise is suitable if you're interested in physics since specific and advanced topics will be treated during the day. It does not matter whether you already have knowledge on the subject treated since everything will be explained in simple terms on the day.

Kan kombineres med:

  • Matematik
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Single Photon Source
  • Ultrashort pulse laser
  • Diffraction grating
  • Spectrometer
  • Spatial Light Modulator

Tidspunkt og varighed

  • Tirsdag 6. februar

Antal deltagere


Opfølgende møde

- hvor du kan du få hjælp til  din databehandling og stille spørgsmål:

  • To uger efter øvelsen - dato kommer snarest



Arrangør og adresse

DTU Electro
Lyngby Campus


Athanasios Paralikis

Athanasios Paralikis Ph.d.-studerende Institut for Elektroteknologi og Fotonik