International Journal of Optics

International Journal of Optics / 2009 / Article

Research Letter | Open Access

Volume 2009 |Article ID 387580 |

Daniel Erenso, "Pump Spectral Bandwidth, Birefringence, and Entanglement in Type-II Parametric Down Conversion", International Journal of Optics, vol. 2009, Article ID 387580, 5 pages, 2009.

Pump Spectral Bandwidth, Birefringence, and Entanglement in Type-II Parametric Down Conversion

Academic Editor: ortunato Tito Arecchi
Received15 Apr 2009
Accepted01 Jun 2009
Published26 Jul 2009


The twin photons produced by a type-II spontaneous parametric down conversion are well know as a potential source of photons for quantum teleportation due to the strong entanglement in polarization. This strong entanglement in polarization, however, depends on the spectral composition of the pump photon and the nature of optical isotropy of the crystal. By exact numerical calculation of the concurrence, we have shown that how pump photons spectral width and the birefringence nature of the crystal directly affect the degree of polarization entanglement of the twin photons.

The realization of faithful transmission of information in quantum communication [1, 2], completely secure information exchange in quantum cryptography [3], and the fastest quantum computers [4, 5] fundamentally requires entangled state of the Bell type. The twin photons produced by spontaneous parametric down conversion (SPDC) via a pump photon interacting with a 𝛽-barium borate, BaB2O4 (BBO), nonlinear crystal are one of the common source of entangled state of the Bell type. There is an increasing interest in the spectral and spatial properties of the down-converted photons and, specifically, in achieving particular spatial and spectral profiles [6, 7]. The spectral and spatial characteristics of SPDC photons are influenced both by the phase-matching properties of the crystal and by the spectral composition of the pump light. Previous works have shown that a broadband pump, for example, has been shown to lead to different signal and idler spectra in type-II SPDC [8]. Recently, Humble and Grice [9] using the signal-idler state in type-II SPDC have reported that polarization entanglement of the signal and idler photons as well as the fidelity of the teleportation based on the polarization states of these photons depends on the spectral entanglement. This study is carried out for the case in which the amplitudes in the joint signal-idler state which determines the spectral entanglement is approximated by a correlated Gaussian function. In this study we use the exact joint signal-idler biphoton state in type-II SPDC [8] and investigate how the degree of polarization entanglement of the two photons changes as the corresponding crystal transit times and the pump spectral composition vary. These results are also discussed in comparison with the approximate results reported by Humble and Grice [9].

In parametric down-conversion type-I phase matching leads to two photons with same polarization. In this phase matching, if the down-conversion is degenerated, a pair of two photons with identical frequency emerges on a cone [10] which is centered on the pump beam whose opening angle depends on the angle between the crystal optic axis and the pump. On the other hand with type-II phase matching, the down-converted photons are emitted into two cones, one horizontally polarized (ℎ) and the other vertically polarized (𝑣). In the collinear situation the two cones are tangent to one another on exactly one line, namely, the pump beam direction. The two particular directions can be chosen in the noncollinear case where the two cones intersect each other, and the two correlated photons are produced in an entangled state of the form, |ℎ,𝑣⟩+|𝑣,ℎ⟩. Experimentally, such form of polarization-entangled state using this technique has been demonstrated using a single BBO crystal [11].

In Type-II parametric down-conversion we consider the case where the nonlinearity of the crystal does not depend on frequency so that the gain of the parametric interaction is constant. We also assume that the down-converted beams are constrained to be nearly collinear. The beam that pumps the crystals is pulsed laser which is much stronger than the down-converted beams. Under these conditions and taking into account that parametric down-conversion is very much ineffective, along the two directions, the state of the two photons can be written as [8, 12]

||𝜓23⟩=𝐴𝑑𝜔2𝑑𝜔3𝛼𝜔2+𝜔3Φ𝜔2,𝜔3×||ℎ2𝜔2,𝑣3𝜔3𝜔+Φ3,𝜔2||ℎ3𝜔3,𝑣2𝜔2,(1) where 𝐴 is a normalization constant, 𝛼𝜔𝑖+𝜔𝑗−=exp2𝜔0−𝜔𝑖+𝜔𝑗2/2ğœŽ2𝑝(2) is the pump envelope function which ensures conservation of energy, and Φ𝜔𝑖,𝜔𝑗=𝑘sin2𝜔𝑖+𝑘3𝜔𝑗−𝑘𝑝𝜔𝑖+𝜔𝑗𝐿𝑘2𝜔𝑖+𝑘3𝜔𝑗−𝑘𝑝𝜔𝑖+𝜔𝑗𝐿(3) is the phase-matching function which ensures conservation of momentum for 𝑖,𝑗=2,3 and 𝑖≠𝑗. Here, ğœŽğ‘ determines the bandwidth of the pump photons. Since the pump envelope function depends on the sum frequency, it is symmetric with respect to 𝜔2 and 𝜔3. However, in the phase-matching function Φ(𝜔𝑖,𝜔𝑗), since the crystal is birefringent 𝑘2(𝜔𝑖)≠𝑘3(𝜔𝑗),Φ(𝜔𝑖,𝜔𝑗) is not symmetric in its frequency arguments (Φ(𝜔𝑗,𝜔𝑖)≠Φ(𝜔𝑖,𝜔𝑗)). By expanding the three wave vectors in series about their respective center frequencies (i.e., 𝑘2(𝜔𝑖) and 𝑘3(𝜔𝑗) about 𝜔0, 𝑘𝑝(𝜔𝑖+𝜔𝑗) about 2𝜔0), for a perfect phase matching at the center frequencies (i.e., 𝑘2(𝜔0)+𝑘3(𝜔0)=𝑘𝑝(2𝜔0)) and small mismatch for off-central frequencies, the phase matching function can be approximated as Φ𝜔𝑖,𝜔𝑗≃𝜏sin𝑝2𝜔𝑖−𝜔0+𝜏𝑝3𝜔𝑗−𝜔0𝜏𝑝2𝜔𝑖−𝜔0+𝜏𝑝3𝜔𝑗−𝜔0,(4) where the constants 𝜏𝑝𝑛=𝜕𝑘𝑝||/𝜕𝜔𝜔=2𝜔0−𝜕𝑘𝑛||/𝜕𝜔𝜔=𝜔0𝐿(5) represent the difference in transit times through the crystal between the pump and the first down-converted photon (𝑛=2) and the pump and the second down-converted photon (𝑛=3), respectively.

Introducing the variables, Δ𝜔𝑖,𝑗=𝜔𝑖,𝑗−𝜔0, and using the expressions for the phase-matching function in (4) and the pump envelop function in (2), we can write (1) as ||𝜓23⟩=𝑑Δ𝜔2𝑑Δ𝜔3𝑓Δ𝜔𝑖,Δ𝜔𝑗×||ℎ2Δ𝜔𝑖,𝑣3Δ𝜔𝑗+𝑓Δ𝜔𝑗,Δ𝜔𝑖||ℎ3Δ𝜔𝑗,𝑣2Δ𝜔𝑖,(6) where the function 𝑓(Δ𝜔𝑖,Δ𝜔𝑗) is given by 𝑓Δ𝜔𝑖,Δ𝜔𝑗=𝑁𝑖𝑗−expΔ𝜔𝑖+Δ𝜔𝑗2/2ğœŽ2𝑝×𝜏sin𝑝2Δ𝜔𝑖+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔𝑗/𝜏𝑝2Δ𝜔𝑖+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔𝑗(7) for 𝑖=2,3 with 𝑖≠𝑗, representing the spectral amplitude for the two different polarization states of the down-converted photons. These amplitudes depend on the bandwidth of the pump mode and crystal transit times (𝜏𝑝2 and 𝜏𝑝3) for the down-converted photon 2 and photon 3 with respect to the transit time for the pump mode, respectively. Using (6) and (7), we will study explicitly the direct effect of the transit times difference (𝜏𝑝2,𝜏𝑝3) and the pump spectral linewidth (ğœŽğ‘) in the degree of the polarization entanglement between the two down-converted photons.

The degree of entanglement of a bipartite system, quantitatively, can be described using the von Neumann entropy [13, 14] or the concurrence [15]. Here, we will use the concurrence to quantitatively describe the entanglement of the two photons. To this end, for the case of discrete bipartite density matrix 𝜌, the concurrence, 𝐶, is given by [15] 𝐶=max0,𝜆1−𝜆2−𝜆3−𝜆4,(8) in which the ğœ†î…žğ‘˜s (with 𝜆1≧𝜆2≧𝜆3≧𝜆4) are the square roots of the eigenvalues of the Hermitian matrix ̃𝜌=̂𝜌23îğœŽ2ğ‘¦âŠ—îğœŽ3𝑦̂𝜌∗23îğœŽ3ğ‘¦âŠ—îğœŽ2𝑦.(9) In (9), ̂𝜌23=|𝜓23⟩⟨𝜓23| is the two photon density operator which can be expressed as a quadruple integral using the state vector in (6), îğœŽ2𝑦=𝑖|𝑣2⟩⟨ℎ2|−𝑖|ℎ2⟩⟨𝑣2| and îğœŽ3𝑦=𝑖|𝑣3⟩⟨ℎ3|−𝑖|ℎ3⟩⟨𝑣3| are the Pauli single-qubit operators. By tracing over the spectral states of the two photons, we determined the matrix elements of the Hermitian matrix, ̃𝜌. We then diagonalized the matrix to obtain the eigenvalues 𝜆1, 𝜆2, 𝜆3, and 𝜆4 that we substituted into (8). The resulting expression for the concurrence is found to be 𝑑𝐶=Δ𝜔2𝑑Δ𝜔3𝑓Δ𝜔2,Δ𝜔3𝑓∗Δ𝜔3,Δ𝜔2.(10) Equation (10) depends on the spectral amplitudes 𝑓(Δ𝜔2,Δ𝜔3) and 𝑓(Δ𝜔3,Δ𝜔2) which are determined by the birefringence of the crystal and the pump spectral distribution. If the crystal is optically isotropic, we would find that 𝑓(Δ𝜔2,Δ𝜔3)=𝑓(Δ𝜔3,Δ𝜔2) and the concurrence, for normalized spectral amplitudes

𝑑Δ𝜔i𝑑Δ𝜔j||𝑓Δ𝜔i,Δ𝜔j||2=1,(11) become 𝐶=1. However, when 𝑓(Δ𝜔2,Δ𝜔3)≠𝑓(Δ𝜔3,Δ𝜔2), previous studies have shown that the degree of polarization entanglement can drastically decrease [9]. These studies assume an approximate Gaussian function for the 𝑆𝑖𝑛𝑐 function in (4) describing the phase mismatch resulting from optical anisotropy of the crystal which leads to different relative transit times for the down-converted photons (𝜏𝑝2 and 𝜏𝑝3). In the following, without this approximation, we will study the direct effect of optical anisotropy of the crystal and the spectral line width of a Gaussian pump photons. To this end, we note that applying the expression for the spectral amplitudes in (7), the concurrence in (10) can be rewritten as 𝐶=𝑁23𝑁32𝑑Δ𝜔2𝑑Δ𝜔3−expΔ𝜔2+Δ𝜔32/ğœŽ2𝑝𝜏×sin𝑝2Δ𝜔2+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔3𝜏sin𝑝2Δ𝜔3+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔2/𝜏𝑝2Δ𝜔2+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔3𝜏𝑝2Δ𝜔3+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔2,(12) where the constants 𝑁𝑖𝑗's are normalization constants that should be obtained using (11).

We first examine how the degree of the entanglement of the down-converted photons depends on the spectral bandwidth of the pump photons, ğœŽğ‘. In Figure 1, on the inset, we have shown the square of the magnitude of the Gaussian spectral profile of the pump photons [exp{−(Δ𝜔2+Δ𝜔3)2/ğœŽ2𝑝}] for different values of the pump bandwidth, ğœŽğ‘=0.1 (blue [a]),0.5 (red [b]),1.0 (green [c]), and 4.0 (pink [d]), respectively. For each of these values of spectral bandwidth the concurrence in (12) along with corresponding normalization factors 𝑁𝑖𝑗's in (11) is calculated as a function of crystal transit time difference between the pump and the down-converted photons, 𝜏𝑝2 and 𝜏𝑝3. The colored curves shown in Figure 1 is the result for the corresponding concurrence, 𝐶, as function of 𝜏𝑝2/𝜏𝑝3. These curves labeled as (a), (b), (c), and (d) show how the concurrence is affected as we vary 𝜏𝑝2/𝜏𝑝3 when the pump photons bandwidth is ğœŽğ‘=0.1 [blue (a)],0.5 [red (b)],1.0 [green (c)], and 4.0 [pink (d)], respectively. Comparing these curves with the corresponding pump photons spectral profile, we note that as the pump bandwidth becomes narrower, the effect of the difference in crystal transit time on the entanglement of the two photons becomes negligible. This means that the optical anisotropy of the crystal which causes the difference in crystal transit times has no significant effect on the entanglement when the incident pump photons have a negligible bandwidth. On the other hand, as the pump spectral profile becomes broader, the effect of optical anisotropy of the crystal becomes significant. We observe this behavior for the entanglement in Figure 1 where the concurrence becomes less than unity, rapidly, as the pump becomes broader and 𝜏𝑝2/𝜏𝑝3<1. However, when 𝜏𝑝2/𝜏𝑝3=1, the two down-converted photons have the same crystal transit time which means that the crystal is optically isotropic. Under this condition, independent of the spectral bandwidth of the pump photons, the entanglement remains maximal, 𝐶=1.

Humble and Grice [9] have studied the entanglement of the two photons when the expression for the joint spectral amplitude, 𝑓(Δ𝜔1,Δ𝜔2), in (7) is approximated by choosing a constant 𝛾=0.42 to match the full width at half maximum of a Gaussian function for the phase matching function: 𝜏sin𝑝2Δ𝜔2+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔3/𝜏𝑝2Δ𝜔2+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔3−𝛾≃exp2𝜏𝑝2Δ𝜔2+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔32,(13) so that joint spectral amplitude in (7) can be approximated as 𝑓Δ𝜔2,Δ𝜔3≃𝑁23−expΔ𝜔2+Δ𝜔32/2ğœŽ2𝑝𝜏−𝛾𝑝2Δ𝜔2+𝜏𝑝3Δ𝜔32./2(14) Then, for this approximation, the expression for the concurrence in (10) becomes 𝐶=4ğœŽ22ğœŽ231−𝜌2/î‚ƒî€·ğœŽ22+ğœŽ232âˆ’ğœŽ22ğœŽ23𝜌2,(15) where 𝜌=−1−𝛾𝜏𝑝2𝜏𝑝3ğœŽ2𝑝/1+𝛾𝜏2𝑝2ğœŽ2𝑝1+𝛾𝜏2𝑝3ğœŽ2𝑝,ğœŽ2−2=î‚€ğœŽğ‘âˆ’2+𝛾𝜏2𝑝21−𝜌2,ğœŽ3−2=î‚€ğœŽğ‘âˆ’2+𝛾𝜏2𝑝31−𝜌2.(16) Using the results in (15)–(16), we have analyzed the entanglement of the two photons in comparison with the exact result as predicted by (12). The concurrence, 𝐶, for both the exact and approximate cases is calculated for selected values of 𝜏𝑝2/𝜏𝑝3 as a function of the pump spectral width, ğœŽğ‘, and the results are shown in Figure 2. When the crystal is optically isotropic (𝜏𝑝2/𝜏𝑝3=1), the photons reveal a maximal entanglement (𝐶=1) independent of the pump spectral width since the phase-matching function becomes symmetrical. As a result the concurrence is equal to unity for all values of the spectral width for both the exact (𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑐) and approximate (Gaussian) phase-matching functions as described by the overlapping solid and dotted curves; see (a) in Figure 2. On the other hand as the crystal becomes optically anisotropic (𝜏𝑝2/𝜏𝑝3>1), the approximate and the exact results for the concurrence begin to differ when the spectral width of the pump photons increases, as illustrated by the solid and dotted curves (b)–(d) in Figure 2, respectively. These curves show that the approximate results under-predict the degree of entanglement of the down-converted photons for spectrally broad Gaussian pump photons as compared to the corresponding exact prediction. This is shown by the solid curves (approximate) which stay under the corresponding dotted curves representing the exact result for the concurrence.

In conclusion, the Gaussian approximation for the phase matching function in type-II SPDC does not accurately predict the degree of polarization entanglement of the down-converted photons for a pump photon with broad spectral composition. This result may potentially be usefully to design a more effective experimental scheme for optimization of polarization entanglement of the twin photons in type-II SPDC.


This work is in part supported by US Department of Energy and Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education and Middle Tennessee State University. The author thanks Travis S. Humble and Warren P. Grice.


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Copyright © 2009 Daniel Erenso. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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