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Validation of echelle-based quantum-classical discriminator with novelty SPAD array sensor
Imaging with non-classical photons allows to bypass the Rayleigh resolution limit and classical shot-noise level. One step towards imaging demonstration with large photon numbers is the separation of non-classical photon states from the classical photons, thus increasing dynamic range and signal to background contrast on the detector. We demonstrate the feasibility of such separation by an echelle grating at high diffraction orders. In our demonstration, a PPKTP crystal generates entangled photon pairs in type-0 SPDC. The crystal is cw pumped and produces non-collinear degenerated photon pairs at 810nm. The classical light states are produced by a VCSEL at nearly same wavelength. After diffraction on echelle grating, the spatial far-field patterns and the photon arrival times are recorded by a novel 32x32 SPAD array sensor with 160 ps timing resolution. It allows real-time monitoring of the first-and second order correlation patterns. Within the observation window, we detected correlated biphoton arrivals in the four diffraction orders corresponding to their de Broglie wavelength, which is a half of the classical wavelength. Respectively a half of these diffraction orders is prohibited for classical photons. Placing a slit mask in these orders allows us to transmit only non-classical photon state and block the classical ones. We report on a series of experiments elucidating spatial and temporal correlations at the output of such quantum -classical photon discriminator. Those results could be used for the separation of biphotons from classical photons at the same wavelength in high-intensity light sources.

Authors: V. Mitev, L. Balet, N. Torcheboeuf, L. Gasparini, M. Perenzoni, B. Bessire, et al.

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