Temporal-mode interferometry: A technique for highly selective quantum pulse gating via cascaded frequency conversion in nonlinear optical waveguides
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A new, and thus far only, method to overcome a selectivity barrier in parametrically pumped quantum pulse gates is proposed and experimentally demonstrated for the first time, using frequency conversion of optical temporal modes in second-order nonlinear waveguides. Temporal modes and quantum pulse gates are defined and their utilities are explored. Pulsed operation of three-field and four-field, parametric, optical processes are modeled and numerically investigated. A maximum limit to achievable selectivity for quantum pulse gating in uniform media is discovered and theoretically explained. An interferometric means of overcoming said limit and asymptotically approaching unit selectivity is proposed. The principle is experimentally verified by double-passing specifically shaped optical pulses derived from an ultrafast Ti:sapphire laser through a periodically-poled lithium niobate waveguide phasematched for sum-frequency generation. Further improvements and future implications for quantum technologies are discussed.