Microwave-to-optical transduction with erbium ions coupled to planar photonic and superconducting resonators
Optical quantum networks can connect distant quantum processors to enable secure quantum communication and distributed quantum computing. Superconducting qubits are a leading technology for quantum information processing but cannot couple to long-distance optical networks without an efficient, coherent, and low noise interface between microwave and optical photons. Here, we demonstrate a microwave-to-optical transducer using an ensemble of erbium ions that is simultaneously coupled to a superconducting microwave resonator and a nanophotonic optical resonator. The coherent atomic transitions of the ions mediate the frequency conversion from microwave photons to optical photons and using photon counting we observed device conversion efficiency approaching 10⁻⁷. With pulsed operation at a low duty cycle, the device maintained a spin temperature below 100 mK and microwave resonator heating of less than 0.15 quanta.
Additional Information© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. This work was supported by the ARO/LPS Cross Quantum Technology Systems program (grant W911NF-18-1-0011), Office of Naval Research awards no. N00014-19-1-2182 and N00014-22-1-2422, Air Force Office of Scientific Research award no. FA9550-21-1-0055, Northrop Grumman, and Weston Havens Foundation. The device nanofabrication was performed in the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at the California Institute of Technology. J.R. acknowledges support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (Grant No. PGSD3-502844-2017). J.G.B. acknowledges the support of the American Australian Association′s Northrop Grumman Fellowship. The authors would like to acknowledge Jevon Longdell, Yu-Hui Chen, Matt Shaw and Rick LeDuc for useful discussions and Hugo Wallner for simulation development. Contributions: J.R. designed and fabricated the device. J.R., T.X., and J.G.B. built the experimental apparatus. J.R. and T.X. measured the device and analyzed the data. J.R. and A.F. wrote the manuscript with input from all authors. K.S. and A.F. supervised the project. The authors declare no competing interests. Data availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
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