Single rare-earth ions in a new light

01.01.2016, 00:00

Newsletter 9

Over the last two years single rare-earth ions doped into a crystal have emerged as a new species of solid-state quantum emitter. The unrivalled long coherence times of these ions represent an important step towards scalable quantum memories. In 2013 we demonstrated the first detection of single praseodymium ions in a YSO crystal using high-NA cryogenic microscopy. By tuning a narrow-band laser over the 3H4-3P0 transition, single ions could be isolated from a large inhomogeneously broadened ensemble. Recently, we have expanded the accessibility of our system to a second scheme, where both excitation and detection are now achievable via the 3H4-1D2 transition, which is more commonly studied. We have further studied the arrival statistics of the emitted photons, which provides the final proof of the quantum nature of the system. By improving our sample preparation technique, we have also significantly reduced the strain/stress-broadened single ion linewidths down to 1.26 MHz, thus resolving the excited state hyperfine-splitting.

Contact: emanuel.eichhammer(at)mpl.mpg(dot)de
Group: Sandoghdar Division
Reference: E. Eichhammer et al., New J. Phys. 17, 083018 (2015).