Four-wave mixing in rubidium vapour with structured light and an external cavity

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Scottish Universities Physics Alliance.
Date of award
  • 2018
Thesis identifier
  • T15042
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201472729
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Thermal atomic vapours are an experimentally simple and efficient system in which to study wave mixing processes. We investigate a resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing (FWM) process in rubidium vapour, which coherently converts 780nm and 776nm light to 5.2 µm and 420 nm. Firstly, we use this system to explore the coherent frequency conversion of structured light, in particular Laguerre-Gauss (LG) beams. These modes, and more generally the orbital angular momentum (OAM) that they carry, are important research tools for optical manipulation, imaging and communication. Previous qualitative studies have demonstrated OAM transfer from the near-infrared pump beams to the generated 420nm light. We investigate this further by making the first quantitative measurements of the 420nm transverse mode for a range of values of pump OAM. Our results indicate that the FWM process is likely to be an efficient source of OAM-entangled 5.2 µm and 420nm light, with a spiral bandwidth that increases with increasing pump OAM. Using independently shaped pump beams, we also study FWM for more general pump modes, including beams carrying opposite handedness of OAM, coherent superpositions of LG modes, and for the first time in this system, radial LGmodes. This work shows the importance of OAM conservation and Gouy phase matching in the FWM process, and is relevant for similar schemes involving the inscription and storage of transverse modes in atomic vapours. Finally, we report the first use of a ring cavity to both increase the output power and narrow the linewidth of the generated 420nm light. For Gaussian pump beams, the low-finesse cavity, which is singly resonant with the 420nmlight, increases the maximum 420nm output power from 340 µW (single pass) to 940 µW (cavity-enhanced), and narrows the linewidth from 33MHz (single pass) to < 1MHz (cavity-enhanced), resulting in a narrow linewidth, tunable light source suitable for near resonant rubidium studies.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Riis, Erling
  • Arnold, Aidan
Resource Type
  • This thesis was previously held under moratorium from 26th October 2018 until 15th April 2021.
Date Created
  • 2018
Former identifier
  • 9912629090102996