Low-Light-Level Nonlinear Optics With Rubidium Atoms In Hollow-Core Photonic Band-Gap Fibers
Low-light-level optical nonlinearities are of signiﬁcant interest for performing operations such as single-photon switching and quantum non-demolition measurements on single-photons. To evoke strong nonlinearities from singlephotons, one can enhance the matter-photon interaction using strongly nonlinear materials such as alkali vapors in combination with an appropriate geometry such as a waveguide, which provides a long interaction length while maintaining a small light mode area. We demonstrate for the ﬁrst time that such a system can be experimentally realized by loading rubidium vapor inside a hollow-core photonic band-gap ﬁber. Using the technique of light-induced atomic desorption in this geometry, we have generated optical depths greater than 1000. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) with control powers 1000 times lower than those used for hot vapor cells in a focused beam geometry. Working with such a high aspect ratio geometry requires us to identify and measure the various sources of decoherence via spectroscopy of desorbed atoms in the ﬁber. Using such techniques, we also estimate the temperature of the desorbing atoms inside the ﬁber. The desorption mechanism is studied, and we show that pulsed desorption beams of the right amplitude and duration can be used for generating precisely controlled optical depths. Finally, we investigate the use of various buffer gas techniques for increasing the effective transverse path of the atoms as they move across the ﬁber in order to reduce their ground state decoherence and map this effect as a function of buffer gas pressure.
dissertation or thesis