Experiments with Frequency Converted Photons from a Trapped Atomic Ion

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Trapped atomic ions excel as local quantum information processing nodes, given their long qubit coherence times combined with high fidelity single-qubit and multi-qubit gate operations. Trapped ion systems also readily emit photons as flying qubits, making efforts towards construction of large-scale and long-distance trapped-ion-based quantum networks very appealing. Two-node trapped-ion quantum networks have demonstrated a desirable combination of high-rate and high-fidelity remote entanglement generation, but these networks have been limited to only a few meters in length. This limitation is primarily due to large fiber-optic propagation losses experienced by the ultraviolet and visible photons typically emitted by trapped ions. These wavelengths are also incompatible with existing telecommunications technology and infrastructure, as well as being incompatible with many other emerging quantum technologies designed for useful tasks such as single photon storage, measurement, and routing, limiting the scalability of ion-based networks.

In this thesis, I discuss a series of experiments where we introduce quantum frequency conversion to convert single photons at 493 nm, produced by and entangled with a single trapped $^{138}$Ba$^+$ ion, to near infrared wavelengths for reduced network transmission losses and improved quantum networking capabilities. This work is the first-ever to frequency convert Ba$^+$ photons, being one of three nearly concurrent demonstrations of frequency converted photons from any trapped ion. After discussing our experimental techniques and laboratory setup, I first showcase our quantum frequency converters that convert ion-produced single photons to both 780 nm and 1534 nm for improved quantum networking range, whilst preserving the photons' quantum properties. Following this, I present two hybrid quantum networking experiments where we interact converted ion-photons near 780 nm with neutral $^{87}$Rb systems. In the initial experiment, we observe, for the first time, interactions between converted ion-photons and neutral Rb vapor via slow light. The following experiment is a multi-laboratory project where we observe Hong-Ou-Mandel interference between converted ion-photons and photons produced by an ensemble of neutral Rb atoms, where notably these sources are located in different buildings and are connected and synchronized via optical fiber. Finally, I describe an experiment in which we verify entanglement between a $^{138}$Ba$^+$ ion and converted photons near 780 nm. These results are critical steps towards producing remote entanglement between trapped ion and neutral atom quantum networking nodes. Motivated by these experimental results, I conclude by presenting a theoretical hybrid-networking architecture where neutral-atomic based nondestructive single photon measurement and storage can be integrated into a long-distance trapped-ion based quantum network to potentially improve remote entanglement rates.