Abstract

Unlike slow-light-based quantum memories, photon echoes offer the benefit of high speed and wide bandwidth. Over the last decade, the rephasing mechanism of photon echoes has been studied for quantum memories to overcome fundamental limitations in photon echoes, such as population inversion and low retrieval efficiency. Although these limitations have been overcome in modified photon echo schemes, photon storage time is still too short to apply it to long-distance quantum communications. For long-distance quantum communications, ultralong photon storage time of the order of seconds is needed to implement quantum repeaters. In this review article, challenging techniques for ultralong photon storage are presented, where ultralong storage is obtained via a coherence conversion process between optical and spin states by using an optical locking technique. To remove population-inversion-caused quantum noise, a double rephasing scheme is addressed, where rephasing-pulse-caused population inversion hinders photon echoes for quantum memory applications.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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