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Various strategies have been considered to store and retrieve quantum light. The explored designs belong to three main—while still overlapping—classes. In architectures derived from photon echo, information is mapped over the spectral components of inhomogeneously broadened absorption bands, such as those encountered in rare earth ion doped crystals and atomic gases in external gradient magnetic field. Protocols based on electromagnetic induced transparency also rely on resonant excitation and are ideally suited to the homogeneous absorption lines offered by laser cooled atomic clouds or ion Coulomb crystals. Finally off-resonance approaches are illustrated by Faraday and Raman processes. Coupling with an optical cavity may enhance the storage process, even for negligibly small atom number. Multiple scattering is also proposed as a way to enlarge the quantum interaction distance of light with matter. The quest for higher efficiency, better fidelity, broader bandwidth, multimode capacity and longer storage lifetime is pursued in all those approaches.

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Selected papers from this special issue of Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Storage and manipulation of light using a Raman gradient-echo process


High-fidelity polarization storage in a gigahertz bandwidth quantum memory


Photon echo quantum random access memory integration in a quantum computer

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