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Quantum storage of entangled telecom-wavelength photons in an erbium-doped optical fibre


The realization of a future quantum Internet requires the processing and storage of quantum information at local nodes and interconnecting distant nodes using free-space and fibre-optic links1. Quantum memories for light2 are key elements of such quantum networks. However, to date, neither an atomic quantum memory for non-classical states of light operating at a wavelength compatible with standard telecom fibre infrastructure, nor a fibre-based implementation of a quantum memory, has been reported. Here, we demonstrate the storage and faithful recall of the state of a 1,532 nm wavelength photon entangled with a 795 nm photon, in an ensemble of cryogenically cooled erbium ions doped into a 20-m-long silica fibre, using a photon-echo quantum memory protocol. Despite its currently limited efficiency and storage time, our broadband light–matter interface brings fibre-based quantum networks one step closer to reality.

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Figure 1: Experimental set-up.
Figure 2: Storage of telecom-wavelength photons in a broadband AFC memory.
Figure 3: Reconstructed density matrices.


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E.S., J.J., D.O. and W.T. thank C. Thiel, N. Sinclair, M. Hedges, T. Lutz, K. Heshami, M. Grimau Puigiber, L. Giner, A. Croteau, C. La Mela and V. Kiselyov for technical help and/or discussions, and acknowledge funding through Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) and the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). W.T. is a senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). V.B.V. and S.W.N. acknowledge partial funding for detector development from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information in a Photon (InPho) programme. Part of the research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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The SNSPDs were fabricated and tested by V.B.V., M.D.S., F.M. and S.W.N. at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. All measurements were performed by E.S. and J.J., with help from D.O. The manuscript was written by W.T., E.S. and D.O.

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Correspondence to Wolfgang Tittel.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Saglamyurek, E., Jin, J., Verma, V. et al. Quantum storage of entangled telecom-wavelength photons in an erbium-doped optical fibre. Nature Photon 9, 83–87 (2015).

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