Abstract

We report an experimental demonstration of wavelength variable generation and detection of photon pairs in the visible and mid-infrared (MIR) regions over a wide spectral range of 2–5 µm via spontaneous parametric downconversion. Despite the recent increase in interest in such a photon-pair source, there have been few detailed evaluations of emitted photons generated via the downconversion process in the low gain regime, due to the lack of suitable single-photon detectors. By changing the angle of the nonlinear crystal, we continuously tune the phase-matching condition and generate photon pairs as signal photons in the wavelength range of 600–965 nm and idler photons in the wavelength range of 1186–4694 nm. We evaluate the generated photon pairs using single and coincidence counts by superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors up to a wavelength of 2 µm and detect the intensity using an InSb detector with a lock-in detection system up to 5 µm. From this analysis, a pair generation rate of ${10^5}\;{{\rm s}^{- 1}}$ per mW of pump power is experimentally obtained for this wavelength range. This work provides a basis for the realization of applications such as heralded MIR single-photon sources, infrared imaging, and infrared spectroscopy based on quantum technologies in the MIR region.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Data Availability

Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the corresponding author (S. Takeuchi) upon reasonable request.

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