Optical EngineeringNovel technique for photon correlation measurements at high photon rates and resolutions
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A novel technique for photon correlation measurements, based on the excitation of a resonant system by photon-detector single pulses, analog/digital sampling, and deconvolution, has been developed and analyzed experimentally and by computer simulations. The measured correlation function is expressed by a convolution of the true photon correlation function of the optical field and a well-defined, noiseless resonator correlation function. The effect of detector statistics is reduced to the contribution of two integral parameters—the total single-pulse charge and the jitter of single-pulse centers. Good performance of this technique is demonstrated at high photon rates and resolutions, where the well-known photon-counting or single-quantum methods are ineffective. The novel technique offers linear recording of photocount time series without dead-time effects. The temporal resolution is defined by the sampling step of the analog/digital converter. The retrieval error does not exceed 1 to 3% at count rates higher than 1 GHz and single-pulse durations larger than the resolution cell. This technique can be effectively applied in photon correlation measurements of high dynamic optical fields.