Towards high-speed optical quantum memories

K. F. Reim, J. Nunn, V. O. Lorenz, B. J. Sussman, K. C. Lee, N. K. Langford, D. Jaksch, I. A. Walmsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantum memories, capable of controllably storing and releasing a photon, are a crucial component for quantum computers1 and quantum communications2. To date, quantum memories3-6 have operated with bandwidths that limit data rates to megahertz. Here we report the coherent storage and retrieval of sub-nanosecond low-intensity light pulses with spectral bandwidths exceeding 1GHz in caesium vapour. The novel memory interaction takes place through a far off-resonant two-photon transition in which the memory bandwidth is dynamically generated by a strong control field7,8. This should allow data rates more than 100 times greater than those of existing quantum memories. The memory works with a total efficiency of 15%, and its coherence is demonstrated through direct interference of the stored and retrieved pulses. Coherence times in hot atomic vapours are on the order of microseconds, the expected storage time limit for this memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-221
Number of pages4
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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