Efficient microwave to optical photon conversion: an electro-optical realization


Linking classical microwave electrical circuits to the optical telecommunication band is at the core of modern communication. Future quantum information networks will require coherent microwave-to-optical conversion to link electronic quantum processors and memories via low-loss optical telecommunication networks. Efficient conversion can be achieved with electro-optical modulators operating at the single microwave photon level. In the standard electro-optic modulation scheme, this is impossible because both up- and down-converted sidebands are necessarily present. Here, we demonstrate true single-sideband up- or down-conversion in a triply resonant whispering gallery mode resonator by explicitly addressing modes with asymmetric free spectral range. Compared to previous experiments, we show a 3 orders of magnitude improvement of the electro-optical conversion efficiency, reaching 0.1% photon number conversion for a 10 GHz microwave tone at 0.42 mW of optical pump power. The presented scheme is fully compatible with existing superconducting 3D circuit quantum electrodynamics technology and can be used for nonclassical state conversion and communication. Our conversion bandwidth is larger than 1 MHz and is not fundamentally limited.

Alfredo Rueda

I work on Resonat Optics.