Photonic microcells for quantum optics applications

  • Philip Light

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis presents the development of photonic microcells for use as the host for coherent optics phenomena and related applications. A photonic microcell consists of a length of hollow-core photonic crystal fibre (HC-PCF) with a gas-filled core that is spliced to conventional optical fibre at either end to seal the gas within the fibre. Towards the goal of demonstrating and assessing the coherence properties of quantum optical effects in photonic microcells, the fabrication of two types of HC-PCF is presented. The established photonic bandgap HC-PCF offers extremely low transmission loss of ~10 dB/km over kilometre distances. However, the fibre has a limited transmission bandwidth of ~50 THz and exhibits modal coupling unfavourable for many applications. Work is presented on the tailoring of this fibre by control and shaping of the core-surround in order to improve its modal properties. A second type of HC-PCF is based on a large-pitch lattice, whose guidance relies on a new mechanism. This fibre exhibits a much improved bandwidth (>1000 THz) and has a relatively higher but still practical loss of ~1 dB/m. The development of photonic microcells at microbar pressure level and with low optical insertion loss is shown, an important step in the improvement of the technology for coherent optics applications which will take advantage of the extreme gas-laser interaction efficiency achieved in HC-PCF. Finally, quantum optical effects are demonstrated in HC-PCF and photonic microcells loaded with both the molecular gas acetylene and atomic vapour rubidium. The observation of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) in acetylene-filled HC-PCF represents the first such observation in a molecular gas, while the use of a photonic microcell allows a comparison of many experimental configurations to explore the coherence properties of coherent optical systems in the core of a HC-PCF. Furthermore, EIT is observed unambiguously in a rubidium loaded HC-PCF for the first time, and the anti-relaxation effects of a polymer coating demonstrated in this configuration.
Date of Award1 May 2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAbdelfatah Benabid (Supervisor) & Philip Russell (Supervisor)


  • electromagnetically induced transparency
  • photonic crystal fibre
  • quantum optics

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