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Demonstration of Atomic Frequency Comb Memory for Light with Spin-Wave Storage

Amari, Atia
Walther, Andreas
Sangouard, Nicolas
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Published in Physical Review Letters. 2010, vol. 104, no. 4, p. 040503-1/4
Abstract We present a light-storage experiment in a praseodymium-doped crystal where the light is mapped onto an inhomogeneously broadened optical transition shaped into an atomic frequency comb. After absorption of the light, the optical excitation is converted into a spin-wave excitation by a control pulse. A second control pulse reads the memory (on-demand) by reconverting the spin-wave excitation to an optical one, where the comb structure causes a photon-echo-type rephasing of the dipole moments and directional retrieval of the light. This combination of photon-echo and spin-wave storage allows us to store submicrosecond (450 ns) pulses for up to 20  μs. The scheme has a high potential for storing multiple temporal modes in the single-photon regime, which is an important resource for future long-distance quantum communication based on quantum repeaters.
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