Microwave photonics lends the advantages of fiber optics to electronic sensing and communication systems. In contrast to nonlinear optics, electro-optic devices so far require classical modulation fields whose variance is dominated by electronic or thermal noise rather than quantum fluctuations. Here we demonstrate bidirectional single-sideband conversion of X band microwave to C band telecom light with a microwave mode occupancy as low as 0.025 ± 0.005 and an added output noise of less than or equal to 0.074 photons. This is facilitated by radiative cooling and a triply resonant ultra-low-loss transducer operating at millikelvin temperatures. The high bandwidth of 10.7 MHz and total (internal) photon conversion efficiency of 0.03% (0.67%) combined with the extremely slow heating rate of 1.1 added output noise photons per second for the highest available pump power of 1.48 mW puts near-unity efficiency pulsed quantum transduction within reach. Together with the non-Gaussian resources of superconducting qubits this might provide the practical foundation to extend the range and scope of current quantum networks in analogy to electrical repeaters in classical fiber optic communication.
The authors acknowledge the support of T. Menner, A. Arslani, and T. Asenov from the Miba machine shop for machining the microwave cavity, and thank S. Barzanjeh, F. Sedlmeir, and C. Marquardt for fruitful discussions. This work is supported by IST Austria and the European Research Council under Grant No. 758053 (ERC StG QUNNECT). W.H. is the recipient of an ISTplus postdoctoral fellowship with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant No. 754411. G.A. is the recipient of a DOC fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at IST Austria. J.M.F. acknowledges support from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) through BeyondC (F71) and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant No. 899354 (FET Open SuperQuLAN). H.G.L.S. acknowledges support from the Aotearoa/New Zealand’s MBIE Endeavour Smart Ideas Grant No UOOX1805.
Hease WJ, Rueda Sanchez AR, Sahu R, et al. Bidirectional electro-optic wavelength conversion in the quantum ground state. PRX Quantum. 2020;1(2). doi:10.1103/prxquantum.1.020315
Hease, W. J., Rueda Sanchez, A. R., Sahu, R., Wulf, M., Arnold, G. M., Schwefel, H. G. L., & Fink, J. M. (2020). Bidirectional electro-optic wavelength conversion in the quantum ground state. PRX Quantum. American Physical Society. https://doi.org/10.1103/prxquantum.1.020315
Hease, William J, Alfredo R Rueda Sanchez, Rishabh Sahu, Matthias Wulf, Georg M Arnold, Harald G.L. Schwefel, and Johannes M Fink. “Bidirectional Electro-Optic Wavelength Conversion in the Quantum Ground State.” PRX Quantum. American Physical Society, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1103/prxquantum.1.020315.
W. J. Hease et al., “Bidirectional electro-optic wavelength conversion in the quantum ground state,” PRX Quantum, vol. 1, no. 2. American Physical Society, 2020.
Hease WJ, Rueda Sanchez AR, Sahu R, Wulf M, Arnold GM, Schwefel HGL, Fink JM. 2020. Bidirectional electro-optic wavelength conversion in the quantum ground state. PRX Quantum. 1(2), 020315.
Hease, William J., et al. “Bidirectional Electro-Optic Wavelength Conversion in the Quantum Ground State.” PRX Quantum, vol. 1, no. 2, 020315, American Physical Society, 2020, doi:10.1103/prxquantum.1.020315.
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