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Purdue ECE researchers develop technique for more precise ToF measurements

Researchers in Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a technique to make time-of-flight measurements (ToF) of entangled photons where the precision of the measurement dramatically exceeds the resolution of commercially available single-photon detectors.

Researchers in Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a technique to make time-of-flight measurements (ToF) of entangled photons where the precision of the measurement dramatically exceeds the resolution of commercially available single-photon detectors.

The technique involves using two particles of light, or photons, which are entangled in time and frequency. Consequently, a measurement on one allows you to infer corresponding information about the other. For example, the arrival of one photon at a detector will be strongly correlated with the arrival of the other. The researchers measure the difference between the arrival times of these two photons in their experiments with  femtosecond-scale precision.

The work is being done in the lab of Andrew M. Weiner, Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of ECE.

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Researchers tailor thickness of conducting nitrides and oxides to enhance their photonic applications

Purdue University researchers found that by tailoring the film thickness of conducting nitrides and oxides, specifically plasmonic titanium nitride (TiN) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO), they can control the materials' optical properties, most notably their epsilon near zero (ENZ) behaviors.

Purdue University researchers found that by tailoring the film thickness of conducting nitrides and oxides, specifically plasmonic titanium nitride (TiN) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO), they can control the materials’ optical properties, most notably their epsilon near zero (ENZ) behaviors. The TiN and AZO materials developed at Purdue also feature the lowest reported optical losses. This provides novel applications for the telecommunications field and furthers the study of many optical nonlinearities. 

Vladimir M. Shalaev and Alexandra Boltasseva, Purdue professors of electrical and computer engineering, and their team of researchers, led by then-postdoctoral researcher Soham Saha, investigated this method of controlling the ENZ point, the wavelength at which a material is neither dielectric nor metallic. When light travels through an ENZ material, its group velocity slows to near zero, and it’s able to interact with the material for a longer period. This gives rise to many interesting nonlinearities. However, with most conventional materials, the ENZ point is fixed and difficult to move.

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Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence