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Opt Express. 2010 Aug 30;18(18):19156-62. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.019156.

Tunable optical time delay of quantum signals using a prism pair.

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Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, 275 Hutchison Road, Rochester, New York 14620, USA.


We describe a compact, tunable, optical time-delay module that functions by means of total internal reflection within two glass prisms. The delay is controlled by small mechanical motions of the prisms. The device is inherently extremely broad band, unlike time delay modules based on "slow light" methods. In the prototype device that we fabricated, we obtain time delays as large as 1.45 ns in a device of linear dimensions of the order of 3.6 cm. We have delayed pulses with a full width at half-maximum pulse duration of 25 fs, implying a delay bandwidth product (measured in delay time divided by the FWHM pulse width) of 5.8 x 10(4). We also show that the dispersion properties of this device are sufficiently small that quantum features of a light pulse are preserved upon delay.


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