Microwave-to-optical conversion via four-wave mixing in a cold ytterbium ensemble

Jacob P. Covey, Alp Sipahigil, Mark Saffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interfacing superconducting qubits with optical photons require noise-free microwave-to-optical transducers, a technology currently not realized at the single-photon level. We propose to use four-wave mixing in an ensemble of cold ytterbium (Yb) atoms prepared in the metastable "clock" state. The parametric process uses two high-lying Rydberg states for bidirectional conversion between a 10 GHz microwave photon and an optical photon in the telecommunication E-band. To avoid noise photons due to spontaneous emission, we consider continuous operation far detuned from the intermediate states. We use an input-output formalism to predict conversion efficiencies of ≈50% with bandwidths of ≈100 kHz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012307
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 8 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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