A Caltech Library Service

Quantum Nanophotonics with Ytterbium in Yttrium Orthovanadate


Kindem, Jonathan Miners (2019) Quantum Nanophotonics with Ytterbium in Yttrium Orthovanadate. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Q40T-8907.


Quantum light-matter interfaces that can reversibly map quantum information between photons and atoms are essential for building future quantum networks. Crystals doped with rare-earth ions (REIs) are an attractive solid-state platform for such light-matter interfaces due to their exceptional optical and spin coherence properties at cryogenic temperatures. Building scalable REI-based technology has proven to be challenging due to the inherently weak coupling of REIs with light. This thesis explores the integration of REIs with nanophotonic resonators to overcome this weak light-matter interaction and enable efficient, scalable quantum light-matter interfaces. Specifically, this work focuses on the development of quantum nanophotonics with ytterbium in yttrium orthovanadate.

This thesis begins with an introduction to a nanophotonic platform based on photonic crystal cavities fabricated directly in rare-earth host materials and highlights the initial successes of this platform with neodymium-doped materials. This motivates an examination of the optical and spin coherence properties of 171Yb:YVO4, a REI material that was previously unexplored for quantum technology applications. This material is found to have strong optical transitions compared to other REI-doped materials, a simple energy level structure, and long optical and spin coherence lifetimes.

The focus then turns to the detection and coherent manipulation of single ytterbium ions coupled to nanophotonic cavities. The Purcell-enhancement in these cavities enables efficient optical detection and spin initialization of individual ytterbium ions. We identify ions corresponding to different isotopes of ytterbium and show that the coupling of electron and nuclear spin in ytterbium-171 at zero-field gives rise to strong electron-spin-like transitions that are first-order insensitive to magnetic field fluctuations. This allows for coherent microwave control and the observation of long spin coherence lifetimes at temperatures up to 1 K. We then make use of the optical selection rules and energy structure of 171Yb:YVO4 to demonstrate high-fidelity single-shot optical readout of the spin state. These results establish nanophotonic devices in 171Yb:YVO4 as a promising platform for solid-state quantum light-matter interfaces.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:rare earth ions; cavity quantum electrodynamics; quantum light-matter interfaces
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Faraon, Andrei
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Thesis Committee:
  • Painter, Oskar J. (chair)
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
  • Hutzler, Nicholas R.
  • Faraon, Andrei
Defense Date:14 March 2019
Non-Caltech Author Email:jon.kindem (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Science Foundation CAREER-1454607
Air Force Office of Scientific Research FA9550-15-1-0252
Air Force Office of Scientific Research FA9550-15-1-002
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency QUINESS W31P4Q-15-1-0012)
National Science FoundationPHY-1125565
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF-2644
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03132019-062905529
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription in Ch. 2 for Ch. 3 in Ch. 2 in Ch. 2 in Chs. 1 and 2 in Chs. 1 and 2 in in Ch. 2
Kindem, Jonathan Miners0000-0002-7737-9368
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11421
Deposited By: Jonathan Kindem
Deposited On:18 Mar 2019 17:18
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:25

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page