Storing information encoded in light is critical for realizing optical buffers for all-optical signal processing1,2 and quantum memories for quantum information processing3,4. These proposals require efficient interaction between atoms and a well-defined optical mode. Photonic crystal fibres can enhance light–matter interactions and have engendered a broad range of nonlinear effects5; however, the storage of light has proven elusive. Here, we report the first demonstration of an optical memory in a hollow-core photonic crystal fibre. We store gigahertz-bandwidth light in the hyperfine coherence of caesium atoms at room temperature using a far-detuned Raman interaction. We demonstrate a signal-to-noise ratio of 2.6:1 at the single-photon level and a memory efficiency of 27 ± 1%. Our results demonstrate the potential of a room-temperature fibre-integrated optical memory for implementing local nodes of quantum information networks.
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The authors thank D. Saunders for comments on the manuscript. The work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC; EP/J000051/1), the Quantum Interfaces, Sensors, and Communication based on Entanglement Integrating Project (EU IP Q-ESSENCE; 248095), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research: European Office of Aerospace Research & Development (AFOSR EOARD; FA8655-09-1-3020), EU IP SIQS (600645), the Royal Society, the Clarendon Fund (to M.R.S.), St Edmund Hall (to M.R.S.), EU ITN FASTQUAST (to P.S.M.), and an EU Marie-Curie Fellowship (PIIF-GA-2011-300820 to X.-M.J.; PIEF-GA-2012-331859 to W.S.K.).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Sprague, M., Michelberger, P., Champion, T. et al. Broadband single-photon-level memory in a hollow-core photonic crystal fibre. Nature Photon 8, 287–291 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2014.45
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