Berweger, Samuel, Alexandra B. Artusio-Glimpse, Andrew P. Rotunno, Nikunjkumar Prajapati, Joseph D. Christesen, Kaitlin R. Moore, Matthew T. Simons, and Christopher L. Holloway. “Closed-loop quantum interferometry for phase-resolved Rydberg-atom field sensing.” Physical Review Applied 20, no. 5 (2023): 054009.
Although Rydberg-atom-based electric field sensing provides key advantages over traditional antenna-based detection, it remains limited by the need for a local oscillator (LO) for low-field and phase-resolved detection. In this work, we demonstrate that closed-loop quantum interferometric schemes can be used to generate a system-internal reference that can directly replace an external LO for Rydberg field sensing. We reveal that this quantum interferometrically defined internal reference phase and frequency can be used analogously to a traditional LO for atom-based down-mixing to an intermediate frequency for lock-in phase detection. We demonstrate that this LO-equivalent functionality provides analogous benefits to an LO, including full 360∘ phase resolution as well as improved sensitivity. The general applicability of this approach is confirmed by demodulating a four-phase-state signal broadcast on the atoms. Our approach may open up new sensing schemes and although the present implementation still uses an auxiliary rf field, we provide a clear path toward all-optical Rydberg-atom sensing implementations by discussing several schemes that allow for all-optical rf phase detection without the need for an external rf LO field.