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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Feb 26;104(8):080502. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

Telecommunication-wavelength solid-state memory at the single photon level.

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Group of Applied Physics, University of Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


We demonstrate experimentally the storage and retrieval of weak coherent light fields at telecommunication wavelengths in a solid. Light pulses at the single photon level are stored for a time up to 600 ns in an erbium-doped Y2SiO5 crystal at 2.6 K and retrieved on demand. The memory is based on photon echoes with controlled reversible inhomogeneous broadening, which is realized here for the first time at the single photon level. This is implemented with an external field gradient using the linear Stark effect. This experiment demonstrates the feasibility of a solid-state quantum memory for single photons at telecommunication wavelengths, which would represent an important resource in quantum information science.

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