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Appl Opt. 2009 May 20;48(15):2884-9.

Fast time-domain balanced homodyne detection of light.

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  • 1Joint Laboratory of Optics, Palacky University and Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Avenue 17. Listopadu 50A, 77900 Olomouc, Czech Republic.


A balanced homodyne detection scheme with nanosecond time resolution and sub-shot-noise sensitivity has been developed and successfully tested yielding an efficient detection scheme for high-speed quantum-optical measurements and communication protocols, for example, quantum cryptography. The parameters of the detector and its precise balancing allow complete characterization of quantum states created by femtosecond light pulses that include the measurement of photon number, optical phase, and statistical properties with a high signal-to-noise ratio for the whole bandwidth from DC to several tens of megahertz. The electronic part of the detector is based on a commercially available amplifier that provides ease of construction and use while yielding good performance.

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