Indistinguishable telecom band photons from a single Er ion in the solid state

Salim Ourari, Łukasz Dusanowski, Sebastian P. Horvath, Mehmet T. Uysal, Christopher M. Phenicie, Paul Stevenson, Mouktik Raha, Songtao Chen, Robert J. Cava, Nathalie P. de Leon, Jeff D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Atomic defects in the solid state are a key component of quantum repeater networks for long-distance quantum communication1. Recently, there has been significant interest in rare earth ions2–4, in particular Er3+ for its telecom band optical transition5–7 that allows long-distance transmission in optical fibres. However, the development of repeater nodes based on rare earth ions has been hampered by optical spectral diffusion, precluding indistinguishable single-photon generation. Here, we implant Er3+ into CaWO4, a material that combines a non-polar site symmetry, low decoherence from nuclear spins8 and is free of background rare earth ions, to realize significantly reduced optical spectral diffusion. For shallow implanted ions coupled to nanophotonic cavities with large Purcell factor, we observe single-scan optical linewidths of 150 kHz and long-term spectral diffusion of 63 kHz, both close to the Purcell-enhanced radiative linewidth of 21 kHz. This enables the observation of Hong–Ou–Mandel interference9 between successively emitted photons with a visibility of V = 80(4)%, measured after a 36 km delay line. We also observe spin relaxation times T 1,s = 3.7 s and T 2,s > 200 μs, with the latter limited by paramagnetic impurities in the crystal instead of nuclear spins. This represents a notable step towards the construction of telecom band quantum repeater networks with single Er3+ ions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-981
Number of pages5
Issue number7976
StatePublished - Aug 31 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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