Electron Spin Coherence in Optically Excited States of Rare-Earth Ions for Microwave to Optical Quantum Transducers
Woodburn, Philip J.
Cone, Rufus L.
Thiel, Charles W.
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Efficient and reversible optical to microwave transducers are required for entanglement transfer between superconducting qubits and light in quantum networks. Rare-earth-doped crystals with narrow optical and spin transitions are a promising system for enabling these devices. Current resonant transduction approaches use ground-state electron spin transitions that have coherence lifetimes often limited by spin flip-flop processes and spectral diffusion, even at very low temperatures. We investigate spin coherence in an optically excited state of an Er3+: Y2SiO5 crystal at temperatures from 1.6 to 3.5 K for a low 8.7 mT magnetic field compatible with superconducting resonators. Spin coherence and population lifetimes of up to 1.6 μs and 1.2 ms, respectively, are measured by optically detected spin echo experiments. Analysis of decoherence processes suggest that ms coherence can be reached at lower temperatures for the excited-state spins, whereas ground-state spin coherence would be limited to a few μs due to resonant interactions with other Er3+ spins in the lattice and greater instantaneous spectral diffusion from the radio-frequency control pulses. We propose a quantum transducer scheme with potential for close to unity efficiency that exploits the advantages offered by spin states of the optically excited electronic energy levels.
Welinski, Sacha, Philip J. T. Woodburn, Nikolai Lauk, Rufus L. Cone, Christoph Simon, Philippe Goldner, and Charles W. Thiel. "Electron Spin Coherence in Optically Excited States of Rare-Earth Ions for Microwave to Optical Quantum Transducers." Physical Review Letters 122 (June 2019). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.247401.