Kalashnikov, D.A., Melik-Gaykazyan, E.V., Kalachev, A.A. et al. Quantum interference in the presence of a resonant medium. Sci Rep 7, 11444 (2017)
Interaction of light with media often occurs with a femtosecond response time. Its measurement by conventional techniques requires the use of femtosecond lasers and sophisticated time-gated optical detection. Here we demonstrate that by exploiting quantum interference of entangled photons it is possible to measure the dephasing time of a resonant media on the femtosecond time scale (down to 100 fs) using accessible continuous wave laser and single-photon counting. We insert a sample in the Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer and observe the modification of the two-photon interference pattern, which is driven by the coherent response of the medium, determined by the dephasing time. The dephasing time is then inferred from the observed pattern. This effect is distinctively different from the basic effect of spectral filtering, which was studied in earlier works. In addition to its ease of use, our technique does not require compensation of group velocity dispersion and does not induce photo-damage of the samples. Our technique will be useful for characterization of ultrafast phase relaxation processes in material science, chemistry, and biology.
NRF CRP grant NRF—CRP14-2014-04, Singapore International Pre-Graduate Award (SIPGA), Russian Foundation for Basic Research (#16-29-11811)