Abstract

Low-noise quantum frequency conversion in periodically poled nonlinear crystals has proved challenging when the pump wavelength is shorter than the target wavelength. This is—at least in large part—a consequence of the parasitic spontaneous parametric downconversion of pump photons, whose efficiency is increased by fabrication errors in the periodic poling. Here we characterize the poling quality of commercial periodically poled bulk potassium titanyl phosphate (ppKTP) by measuring the sum-frequency generation (SFG) efficiency over a large phase mismatch range from 0 to more than $400\pi$. Over the probed range, the SFG efficiency behaves nearly ideally and drops to a normalized efficiency of ${10^{- 6}}$. Our results demonstrate that any background pedestal that would be formed by random duty-cycle errors in ppKTP is substantially reduced when compared to periodically poled lithium niobate. The standard deviation of the random duty-cycle errors can be estimated to be smaller than 2% of the domain length. From this, we expect a noise spectral density that is at least 1 order of magnitude smaller than that of current state-of-the-art single-step frequency converters.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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