An investigation is made of a recently introduced quantum interferometric method capable of measuring polarization mode dispersion (PMD) on sub-femtosecond scales, without the usual interferometric stability problems associated with such small time scales. The technique makes use of the extreme temporal correlation of orthogonally polarized pairs of photons produced via type-II phase-matched spontaneous parametric down-conversion. When sent into a simple polarization interferometer these photon pairs produce a sharp interference feature seen in the coincidence rate. The PMD of a given sample is determined from the shift of that interference feature as the sample is inserted into the system. The stability and resolution of this technique is shown to be below 0.2 fs. We explore how this precision is improved by reducing the length of the down-conversion crystal and increasing the spectral band pass of the system.
Citation: Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Pub Type: Journals
group velocity delay, optical delay, parametric downconversion, polarization interferometer, polarization mode dispersion, quantum interference