Multiphoton absorption processes have a nonlinear dependence on the amplitude of the incident optical field, i.e., the number of photons. However, multiphoton absorption is generally weak and multiphoton events occur with extremely low probability. Consequently, it is extremely challenging to engineer quantum nonlinear devices that operate at the single photon level and the majority of quantum technologies have to rely on single photon interactions. Here we demonstrate experimentally and theoretically that exploiting coherent absorption of N=2 NOON states makes it possible to enhance the number of two-photon states that are absorbed by at most a factor of 2 with respect to a linear absorption process. An absorbing metasurface placed inside a Sagnac-style interferometer into which we inject an N=2 NOON state, exhibits two-photon absorption with 40.5% efficiency, close to the theoretical maximum. This high probability of simultaneous absorption of two photons holds the promise for applications in fields that require multiphoton upconversion but are hindered by high peak intensities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics