We report generation and measurement of a squeezed vacuum from a semi-monolithic Fabry-Pérot optical parametric oscillator (OPO) up to 100 MHz at 1550 nm. The output coupler of the OPO is a flat surface of a nonlinear crystal with partially reflecting coating, which enables direct coupling with waveguide modules. Using the OPO, we observed 6.2dB of squeezing at 2 MHz and 3.0 dB of squeezing at 100 MHz. The OPO operates at the optimal wavelength to minimize propagation losses in silica waveguides and looks towards solving a bottleneck of downsizing these experiments: that of coupling between a squeezer and a waveguide.
© 2019 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement
In quantum optics, a quadrature squeezed state has many applications as a resource of non-classicality . As a squeezed vacuum is a phase-sensitive state, it is used for high precision measurements such as gravitational wave detection [2–4]. A squeezed vacuum is also a quantum resource in continuous-variable quantum information processing . Several quantum states such as a Schrödinger-cat-like state [6,7] or a cluster state  are created from squeezed vacua. A squeezed vacuum is also essential in quantum information processing such as quantum non-demolition gate  and one-way quantum computation .
The first observation of a squeezed vacuum was realized by four-wave mixing in 1985 . In the following year, a squeezed vacuum was generated using an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) , making use of the cavity-enhancement of the efficiency of parametric process .Since then, a number of groups started to compete to achieve high-level squeezing , with 7 dB observed at 860 nm using a bow-tie-type OPO in 2006 , and 15 dB at 1064 nm with a semi-monolithic OPO reported . This is the best observed squeezing level to date.
In quantum information processing with time-domain multiplexing, a broadband squeezed vacuum is essential to realize fast quantum processing . Although cavity structures offer advantages in the efficiency of the parametric process, it limits the bandwidth of the process with the round-trip. Round-trip optical length of a cavity is inversely proportional to resonance width. Therefore, small cavities are used to obtain broadband squeezed vacua [18–20]. In 2013, 4.8 dB squeezing from 5 to 100 MHz and 3 dB squeezing from 100 MHz to 1.2 GHz at 1550 nm was achieved using a small double-resonant monolithic OPO with a 2.6 mm long type-0 phase matched KTiOPO4 (PPKTP) crystal .
In general, there is a trade-off between bandwidth and the pump power required to obtain large squeezing level . This is because the effective length of the parametric process decreases as the cavity confinement is weakened or the length of the nonlinear crystal shortened to get a larger bandwidth. Practically, there is also the condition that the intensity of pump beam is low enough not to damage optical elements or the crystal, and so there is a trade-off between bandwidth and squeezing level. In a previous experiment with a monolithic OPO , 3 dB of squeezing at 1.2 GHz was observed but required internal pump powers as high as 37 W, which was large enough to cause cavity mode deformation. In another experiment with 9.3 mm long semi-monolithic PPKTP OPO , the oscillation threshold was estimated to be as low as 221 mW but the HWHM linewidth of the cavity was only 21.5 MHz. Since an optical parametric amplifier (OPA) does not have any cavity structure, it allows THz-order bandwidth limited only by dispersion or phase matching conditions [23–26] however the observed squeezing levels with an OPA are not as high as that with an OPO. Although 5.8 dB of pulsed squeezing at 1064 nm has been observed using high-intensity pulses of light , squeezing with continuous wave of light remains at low level such as 2.2 dB at 1064 nm .
For large-scale quantum information processing, it is important to realize direct coupling between a source of squeezed vacuum and waveguide modules. In 2015, integration of universal linear optics in a silica chip was performed . Integrating linear optics of a quantum optical circuit is a promising approach for realization of a large scale circuit [30,31]. However, there is a bottleneck of downsizing in the coupling between a squeezer and a waveguide chip. In 2016, generation of a squeezed vacuum using a fiber coupled OPA was demonstrated but the squeezing level was 1.8 dB at 1550 nm . In 2018, an OPO with directly fiber-coupled structure was proposed but measured squeezing level using the OPO was up to 1dB at 1064 nm . One of the causes of the low squeezing level could be considered to be that a thin tabular crystal was used in the OPO and the useful length of the crystal was only 80 μm.
In this paper, we report generation and measurement of a squeezed vacuum at 1550 nm from a semi-monolithic OPO with a 5mm-long cuboid-shaped crystal and a curved mirror, which has capability of direct coupling with a waveguide modules. A previous work  uses a cavity with a similar structure, but it cannot be directly coupled to a waveguide because of a high reflection coating on a crystal. 1550 nm is one of the conventional wavelengths for optical communication, and is the best wavelength in terms of propagation losses in silica waveguides . We measured 6.2 dB squeezing and 8.5 dB anti-squeezing at 2 MHz, and 3.0 dB squeezing and 3.8 dB anti-squeezing at 100 MHz with a moderate pump power up to 360 mW. To detect the broadband squeezed vacuum with high quantum efficiency (QE), we developed a homemade homodyne detector with a fast trans-impedance amplifier consisting of discrete semiconductors and high-QE InGaAs photodiodes, which has 14 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at 100 MHz with a 3.5 mW local oscillator beam.
2. Design of OPO
Figure 1 shows the design of our OPO. A Fabry-Pérot-shaped cavity consists of a spherical mirror (LAYERTEC, curvature radius 5.0 mm, diameter 6.35 mm) and a type-0 phase matched KTiOPO4 (PPKTP) crystal (Raicol Crystals, 1.0 mm × 1.0 mm × 5.0 mm) with 90% reflection coating at 1550 nm on one side. The actual physical length of the cavity is 7 mm and taking the refractive index into account, the round-trip optical length is approximately 22 mm. The FWHM linewidth of the cavity is 2.4×102 MHz and the finesse of the cavity is 61.
The spherical mirror has a high reflection (HR) coating for both 1550 nm and 775 nm on the spherical surface, and is uncoated on the other side. The spherical mirror is glued to a ring-shaped piezo actuator (Thorlabs, PA44LEW) for cavity length control. A weak coherent beam for cavity locking is injected from the uncoated surface of this mirror.
The crystal has partial-reflection coating (90% R at 1550 nm and high transmission (HT) at 775 nm) on one side, and anti-reflection coating for both 1550 nm and 775 nm on the other side. The surface with the partial-reflection coating is the output coupler of the OPO, and a pump beam is also injected from this surface. The waist radius of a resonant beam on the surface of the crystal is 23 μm.
Focusing lenses are placed either side of the OPO cavity. The one side which the squeezed vacuum exits from has an aspherical lens (Sigma koki, A355T with special ordered anti-reflection coating at both 1550 nm and 775 nm) to obtain better mode-matching with a local oscillator beam for homodyne detection, and the other side has a spherical lens (Thorlabs, LA1074-C).
The beam waist of resonant modes of the OPO is designed to be at a surface of the crystal. Thus, the wavefront is flat on the output coupler, which allows direct coupling with waveguide modules. In the OPO, every optical element is placed on a dovetail groove and has three degrees of freedom of translation. Providing the OPO with a mechanism for adjusting the position of the resonant mode could be useful for coupling several OPOs to one optical integrated chip directly.
Because of the high reflectivity of the spherical mirror at 775 nm, the crystal is pumped from both sides. Since there is non-zero phase shift on reflection on the mirror and in propagation at the boundaries of the periodically poled crystal, using both forward and backward paths is not equivalent to doubling the length of the crystal. In this case, phase matching condition becomes more complex. Here, we discuss the phase matching condition with an additional phase shift θ between forward and backward paths using second harmonic generation (SHG) as an example.
The total second harmonic output is a superposition of frequency doubled beams from the forward and backward paths36,37]:
The total intensity is38,39], this problem is avoided by dicing the crystal at appropriate positions.
The conversion efficiency of SHG is measured to be 2.24 W−1 in the OPO. Taking the cavity enhancement factor  into account, non-linear conversion coefficient ENL of the double pass is estimated to be 1.56×10−3 W−1.
3. Experimental configuration
Figure 2 shows a schematic of the experiment. Sources of continuous-wave laser light at 1550 nm are two single frequency Co-doped Erbium/Ytterbium fiber laser systems with different output intensities. Fiber laser A, the brighter one (NKT Photonics, Koheras BOOSTIK C15) is used as the main laser of this experiment with a maximum output power is 2 W. Fiber laser B, the less bright one (NKT Photonics, Koheras ADJUSTIK C15) is used as a source of a reference beam for cavity locking and has a maximum output power of 10 mW. Both lasers are frequency stabilized by slow thermal control and fast piezo control. The output of Fiber laser A is split by a 6dB fiber coupler (Thorlabs, PN1550R3A1) after isolation using a pigtailed isolator (IO-J-1550APC). The main output of the 6 dB fiber coupler pumps a periodically poled lithium niobate waveguide SHG module (NTT Electronics, WH-0775-000-F-B-C) and the output power at 775 nm is 450 mW at maximum. The tapped output of the 6dB fiber coupler is used as a local oscillator (LO) of our homodyne measurement and a reference beam for alignment. Every beam except for the beam for cavity locking is p-polarized.
The OPO is locked by the Pound-Drever-Hall technique  with the s-polarized cavity-locking beam. The wavelength of Fiber laser B is set to compensate birefringence of the crystal. The cavity-locking beam is modulated in a phase modulator (Thorlabs, LN65S-FC). The frequency of the modulation is set to 15 MHz to lock the broadband OPO. The cavity-locking beam is separated from the squeezed vacuum by means of a polarizing beamsplitter.
To align the transverse mode of the pump beam, a rectangle-shaped reference cavity is placed between the doubler module and the OPO. During the alignment, a flippable mirror is flipped up and the alignment beam is injected into the OPO to generate second harmonic light. By aligning the mirrors and lenses to make both of the pump beam and the second harmonic light resonate with the reference cavity, the transverse mode of the pump beam is optimized. After the alignment, the optical path in the rectangle-shaped cavity is blocked.
The squeezed vacuum from the OPO is separated from the pump beam by means of a dichroic mirror (Thorlabs, DMSP1180) and gets interfered with the LO beam by a 50/50 beamsplitter (Sigma koki, PSMHQ-25.4C05-10-1550p). The LO beam from an optical fiber is collimated by a triplet lens collimator (Thorlabs, TC06APC) to get better circularity, which provides a visibility of 99% in the homodyne detection. A mirror glued to a piezo actuator (Thorlabs, AE0505D08F) is placed in the LO path, which is used to scan the phase of the homodyne detection.
The photodiodes of our homemade homodyne detector are specially ordered InGaAs photodiodes (Laser Components, IGHQEX0100-1550-10-1.0-SPAR-TH-40). The trans-impedance amplifier consists of a cascade amplifier (Infineon Technologies, NE3509 and BFR740) and an emitter follower (Infineon Technologies, BFR740). The output electric signal is measured by a spectrum analyzer (Agilent, E4401B).
4. Results and discussions
Figure 3 shows raw data from the spectrum analyzer at 2 MHz and 100 MHz with 360 mW pump power and 3.5 mW LO power. Observed squeezing level is 6.2±0.1 dB at 2 MHz and 3.0±0.1 dB at 100 MHz, and observed anti-squeezing level is 8.6±0.1 dB at 2 MHz and 3.4±0.1 dB at 100 MHz. Figure 4 shows observed noise power of the squeezed vacuum at each frequency, the shot noise and the circuit noise. Figures 5 and 6 show pump amplitude dependence of the squeezing level and the anti-squeezing level.
In theory, the squeezing level and anti-squeezing level are written as :15].
From Eq. (4), ENL is estimated to be 0.64 times that of the case of θ = 0. Thus, it can be expected that the oscillation threshold can be reduced to 1.1W by optimizing the phase of the reflected pump beam. A way to realize this condition is replacing the spherical mirror (HR at 1550 nm and 775 nm) in the OPO with a dichroic spherical mirror (HR at 1550 nm, AR at 775 nm), and placing a mirror for pump beam at an appropriate position behind the dichroic spherical mirror. Another way to realize the condition is by changing the dicing positions of the periodically poled crystal based on phase shift on the reflection on the spherical mirror.
When the OPO is directly coupled with waveguide modules in the future, pump power could be limited by a damage thresold of the modules. Since the intensity of the squeezed vacuum is generally very low, it is sufficient to consider the dichroic beam splitter, which is the only module in which pump beam propagates in our scheme. A typical maximum power of fiber optic dichroic beamsplitters (such as Thorlabs, WP9850B, WP9864B) is 1W. Taking the reflected pump beam into account, the maximum input pump power is half of that, namely, 0.5 W. In our experiment, the maximum pump power is 360 mW, which is limited by the output power of the laser, and this is still lower than 0.5 W.
The expected coupling efficiency with waveguide modes was calculated by simulation using a finite-difference method (Optiwave Systems Inc., OptiBPM 12). In anticipation of implementation on a silica-based planar light circuit (PLC) generally used for communication , the shape of the waveguide is set to be square, and its refractive index difference is set to be 1.5%. Figure 7 shows the result of the simulation. Ignoring misalignment and reflection, a coupling efficiency of 97.9% is expected for a linear waveguide with a core size of 63 μm on a side. The mismatch is considered to be mainly due to the waveguide mode being slightly different from circular. Additionally, in silicon waveguides, efficient spot size conversion is performed using a three-dimensional taper . A tilt dry-etching technique  is considered as a method of making a similar structure in a silica-based PLC.
The following could be considered as potential improvements: Reduction of the required intensity of an incident pump beam by reflecting the pump beam at both ends of the cavity, elimination of the second laser by using cascaded acousto-optic modulators to shift the frequency of a beam.
Using a semi-monolithic Fabry-Pérot optical parametric oscillator (OPO) with capability of direct coupling with waveguide modules, we achieved 6.2 dB of squeezing at 2 MHz and 3.0 dB of squeezing at 100 MHz with 360 mW of pump power and 3.5 mW of LO power. This is the first realization of an OPO with capability of direct coupling with waveguide modules at 1550 nm, which is the best wavelength for silica waveguides in terms of propagation losses. The OPO is expected to contribute a great deal to the downsizing of quantum optical circuits.
Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) (JPMJCR15N5) of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST); KAKENHI (17H01150) of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS); APLS of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); The University of Tokyo Foundation.
We are grateful to First Mechanical Design (FMD) Corporation for their assistance with the design and fabrication of the OPO mount system. We thank Euan J. Allen and Takahiro Kashiwazaki for feedback on the manuscript.
1. D. F. Walls, “Squeezed states of light,” Nature 306, 141–146 (1983). [CrossRef]
2. C. M. Caves, “Quantum-mechanical noise in an interferometer,” Phys. Rev. D 23, 1693–1708 (1981). [CrossRef]
3. K. Goda, O. Miyakawa, E. E. Mikhailov, S. Saraf, R. Adhikari, K. McKenzie, S. V. R. Ward, A. J. Weinstein, and N. Mavalvala, “A quantum-enhanced prototype gravitational-wave detector,” Nat. Phys. 4, 472–476 (2008). [CrossRef]
4. J. Miller, L. Barsotti, S. Vitale, P. Fritschel, M. Evans, and D. Sigg, “Prospects for doubling the range of advanced LIGO,” Phys. Rev. D 91, 062005 (2015). [CrossRef]
5. S. L. Braunstein and P. van Loock, “Quantum information with continuous variables,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 77, 513–577 (2005). [CrossRef]
6. M. Dakna, T. Anhut, T. Opatrný, L. Knöll, and D.-G. Welsch, “Generating Schrödinger-cat-like states by means of conditional measurements on a beam splitter,” Phys. Rev. A 55, 3184 (1997). [CrossRef]
7. W. Asavanant, K. Nakashima, Y. Shiozawa, J. Yoshikawa, and A. Furusawa, “Generation of highly pure Schrödinger’s cat states and real-time quadrature measurements via optical filtering,” Opt. Express 25, 32227–32242 (2017). [CrossRef]
8. M. Gu, C. Weedbrook, N. C. Menicucci, T. C. Ralph, and P. van Loock, “Quantum computing with continuous-variable clusters,” Phys. Rev. A 79, 062318 (2009). [CrossRef]
9. Y. Shiozawa, J. Yoshikawa, S. Yokoyama, T. Kaji, K. Makino, T. Serikawa, R. Nakamura, S. Suzuki, S. Yamazaki, W. Asavanant, S. Takeda, P. van Loock, and A. Furusawa, “Quantum nondemolition gate operations and measurements in real time on fluctuating signals,” Phys. Rev. A 98, 052311 (2018). [CrossRef]
10. S. Yokoyama, R. Ukai, S. C. Armstrong, J. Yoshikawa, P. van Loock, and A. Furusawa, “Demonstration of a fully tunable entangling gate for continuous-variable one-way quantum computation,” Phys. Rev. A 92, 032304 (2015). [CrossRef]
11. R. E. Slusher, L. W. Hollberg, B. Yurke, J. C. Mertz, and J. F. Valley, “Observation of squeezed states generated by four-wave mixing in an optical cavity,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 55, 2409 (1985). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
13. B. Yurke, “Use of cavities in squeezed-state generation,” Phys. Rev. A 29, 408–410 (1984). [CrossRef]
14. U. L. Andersen, T. Gehring, C. Marquardt, and G. Leuchs, “30 years of squeezed light generation,” Phys. Scripta 91, 053001 (2016). [CrossRef]
15. S. Suzuki, H. Yonezawa, F. Kannari, M. Sasaki, and A. Furusawa, “7db quadrature squeezing at 860nm with periodically poled KTiOPO4,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 061116 (2006). [CrossRef]
16. H. Vahlbruch, M. Mehmet, K. Danzmann, and R. Schnabel, “Detection of 15 dB squeezed states of light and their application for the absolute calibration of photoelectric quantum efficiency,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 110801 (2016). [CrossRef]
17. J. Yoshikawa, S. Yokoyama, T. Kaji, C. Sornphiphatphong, Y. Shiozawa, K. Makino, and A. Furusawa, “Invited article: Generation of one-million-mode continuous-variable cluster state by unlimited time-domain multiplexing,” APL Photonics 1, 060801 (2016). [CrossRef]
18. T. Serikawa, J. Yoshikawa, K. Makino, and A. Frusawa, “Creation and measurement of broadband squeezed vacuum from a ring optical parametric oscillator,” Opt. Express 24, 28383–28391 (2016). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
19. G. Breitenbach, T. Müller, S. F. Pereira, J.-P. Poizat, S. Schiller, and J. Mlynek, “Squeezed vacuum from a monolithic optical parametric oscillator,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 12, 2304–2309 (1995). [CrossRef]
21. S. Brosnan and R. Byer, “Optical parametric oscillator threshold and linewidth studies,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 15, 415–431 (1979). [CrossRef]
22. M. Mehmet, S. Ast, T. Eberle, S. Steinlechner, H. Vahlbruch, and R. Schnabel, “Squeezed light at 1550 nm with a quantum noise reduction of 12.3 dB,” Opt. Express 19, 25763–25772 (2011). [CrossRef]
23. Z. Tong, C. Lundström, P. A. Andrekson, M. Karlsson, and A. Bogris, “Ultralow noise, broadband phase-sensitive optical amplifiers, and their applications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 18, 1016–1032 (2012). [CrossRef]
25. T. Umeki, M. Asobe, T. Yanagawa, O. Tadanaga, Y. Nishida, K. Magari, and H. Suzuki, “Broadband wavelength conversion based on apodized χ(2) grating,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 26, 2315–2322 (2009). [CrossRef]
26. K. Yoshino, T. Aoki, and A. Furusawa, “Generation of continuous-wave broadband entangled beams using periodically poled lithium niobate waveguides,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 041111 (2007). [CrossRef]
28. M. Pysher, R. Bloomer, C. M. Kaleva, T. D. Roberts, P. Battle, and O. Pfister, “Broadband amplitude squeezing in a periodically poled KTiOPO4 waveguide,” Opt. Lett. 34, 256–258 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
29. J. Carolan, C. Harrold, C. Sparrow, E. Martín-López, N. J. Russell, J. W. Silverstone, P. J. Shadbolt, N. Matsuda, M. Oguma, M. Itoh, G. D. Marshall, M. G. Thompson, J. C. F. Matthews, T. Hashimoto, J. L. O’Brien, and A. Laing, “Universal linear optics,” Science 349, 711–716 (2015). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
30. H. Takahashi, “Planar lightwave circuit devices for optical communication: present and future,” Proc. SPIE 5246, 520–531 (2003). [CrossRef]
31. T. Serikawa, Y. Shiozawa, H. Ogawa, N. Takanashi, S. Takeda, J. Yoshikawa, and A. Furusawa, “Quantum information processing with a travelling wave of light,” Proc. SPIE 10535, 105351B (2018).
32. F. Kaiser, B. Fedrici, A. Zavatta, V. D’Auria, and S. Tanzilli, “A fully guided-wave squeezing experiment for fiber quantum networks,” Optica 3, 362–365 (2016). [CrossRef]
34. C. Schäfermeier, M. Ježek, L. S. Madsen, T. Gehring, and U. L. Andersen, “Deterministic phase measurements exhibiting super-sensitivity and super-resolution,” Optica 5, 60–64 (2018). [CrossRef]
35. G. Keiser, Optical fiber communications (Wiley, 2003).
36. J. A. Armstrong, N. Bloembergen, J. Ducuing, and P. S. Pershan, “Interactions between light waves in a nonlinear dielectric,” Phys. Rev. 127, 1918–1939 (1962). [CrossRef]
37. A. Szilagyi, A. Hordvik, and H. Schlossberg, “A quasi-phase-matching technique for efficient optical mixing and frequency doubling,” J. Appl. Phys. 47, 2025–2032 (1976). [CrossRef]
38. T. Eberle, S. Steinlechner, J. Bauchrowitz, V. Händchen, H. Vahlbruch, M. Mehmet, H. Müller-Ebhardt, and R. Schnabel, “Quantum enhancement of the zero-area sagnac interferometer topology for gravitational wave detection,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 251102 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
39. H. Vahlbruch, M. Mehmet, S. Chelkowski, B. Hage, A. Franzen, N. Lastzka, S. Goßler, K. Danzmann, and R. Schnabel, “Observation of squeezed light with 10-dB quantum-noise reduction,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 033602 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
40. V. Berger, “Second-harmonic generation in monolithic cavities,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 14, 1351–1360 (1997). [CrossRef]
41. R. W. P. Drever, J. L. Hall, F. V. Kowalski, J. Hough, G. M. Ford, A. J. Munley, and H. Ward, “Laser phase and frequency stabilization using an optical resonator,” Appl. Phys. B 31, 97–105 (1983). [CrossRef]
42. P. K. Lam, T. C. Ralph, B. C. Buchler, D. E. McClelland, H.-A. Bachor, and J. Gao, “Optimization and transfer of vacuum squeezing from an optical parametric oscillator,” J. Opt. B: Quantum Semiclassical Opt. 1, 469–474 (1999). [CrossRef]
43. S. Tsunashima, F. Nakajima, Y. Nasu, R. Kasahara, Y. Nakanishi, T. Saida, T. Yamada, K. Sano, T. Hashimoto, H. Fukuyama, H. Nosaka, and K. Murata, “Silica-based, compact and variable-optical-attenuator integrated coherent receiver with stable optoelectronic coupling system,” Opt. Express 20, 27174–27179 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
44. N. Fang, Z. Yang, A. Wu, J. Chen, M. Zhang, S. Zou, and X. Wang, “Three-dimensional tapered spot-size converter based on (111) silicon-on-insulator,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 21, 820–822 (2009). [CrossRef]
45. Y. Kurata, Y. Nasu, M. Tamura, Y. Muramoto, H. Yokoyama, and M. Itoh, “Fabrication of InP-PDs on silica-based PLC using heterogeneous integration technique,” J. Light. Technol. 32, 2841–2848 (2014). [CrossRef]