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Proceedings Paper

Single-photon experiments with liquid crystals for quantum science and quantum engineering applications
Author(s): Svetlana G. Lukishova; Andreas C. Liapis; Luke J. Bissell; George M. Gehring; Justin M. Winkler; Robert W. Boyd
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Paper Abstract

We present here our results on using liquid crystals in experiments with nonclassical light sources: (1) single-photon sources exhibiting antibunching (separation of all photons in time), which are key components for secure quantum communication systems, and (2) entangled photon source with photons exhibiting quantum interference in a Hong-Ou- Mandel interferometer. In the first part, cholesteric liquid crystal hosts were used to create definite circular polarization of antibunched photons emitted by nanocrystal quantum dots. If the photon has unknown polarization, filtering it through a polarizer to produce the desired polarization for quantum key distribution with bits based on polarization states of photons will reduce by half the efficiency of a quantum cryptography system. In the first part, we also provide our results on observation of a circular polarized microcavity resonance in nanocrystal quantum dot fluorescence in a 1-D chiral photonic bandgap cholesteric liquid crystal microcavity. In the second part of this paper with indistinguishable, time-entangled photons, we demonstrate our experimental results on simulating quantum-mechanical barrier tunnelling phenomena. A Hong-Ou-Mandel dip (quantum interference effect) is shifted when a phase change was introduced on the way of one of entangled photons in pair (one arm of the interferometer) by inserting in this arm an electrically controlled planar-aligned nematic liquid crystal layer between two prisms in the conditions close to a frustrated total internal reflection. By applying different AC-voltages to the planar-aligned nematic layer and changing its refractive index, we can obtain various conditions for incident photon propagation – from total reflection to total transmission. Measuring changes of tunnelling times of photon through this structure with femtosecond resolution permitted us to answer some unresolved questions in quantum-mechanical barrier tunnelling phenomena.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2015
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 9384, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies X, 93840A (11 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2184372
Show Author Affiliations
Svetlana G. Lukishova, Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
National Research Nuclear Univ. MEPhI (Russian Federation)
Andreas C. Liapis, Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Luke J. Bissell, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
George M. Gehring, Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Justin M. Winkler, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Robert W. Boyd, Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Univ. of Ottawa (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9384:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies X
Liang-Chy Chien; Harry J. Coles; Hirotsugu Kikuchi; Ivan I. Smalyukh, Editor(s)

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