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  1. Broadband frequency comb generation through cascaded quadratic nonlinearity remains experimentally untapped in free-space cavities with bulk χ(2)materials mainly due to the high threshold power and restricted ability of dispersion engineering. Thin-film lithium niobate (LN) is a good platform for nonlinear optics due to the tight mode confinement in a nano-dimensional waveguide, the ease of dispersion engineering, large quadratic nonlinearities, and flexible phase matching via periodic poling. Here we demonstrate broadband frequency comb generation through dispersion engineering in a thin-film LN microresonator. Bandwidths of 150 nm (80 nm) and 25 nm (12 nm) for center wavelengths at 1560 and 780 nm are achieved, respectively, in a cavity-enhanced second-harmonic generation (doubly resonant optical parametric oscillator). Our demonstration paves the way for pure quadratic soliton generation, which is a great complement to dissipative Kerr soliton frequency combs for extended interesting nonlinear applications.

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  2. Abstract

    Clouds, crucial for understanding climate, begin with droplet formation from aerosols, but observations of this fleeting activation step are lacking in the atmosphere. Here we use a time-gated time-correlated single-photon counting lidar to observe cloud base structures at decimeter scales. Results show that the air–cloud interface is not a perfect boundary but rather a transition zone where the transformation of aerosol particles into cloud droplets occurs. The observed distributions of first-arriving photons within the transition zone reflect vertical development of a cloud, including droplet activation and condensational growth. Further, the highly resolved vertical profile of backscattered photons above the cloud base enables remote estimation of droplet concentration, an elusive but critical property to understanding aerosol–cloud interactions. Our results show the feasibility of remotely monitoring cloud properties at submeter scales, thus providing much-needed insights into the impacts of atmospheric pollution on clouds and aerosol-cloud interactions that influence climate.

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  5. Wavelength transduction of single-photon signals is indispensable to networked quantum applications, particularly those incorporating quantum memories. Lithium niobate nanophotonic devices have demonstrated favorable linear, nonlinear, and electro-optical properties to deliver this crucial function while offering superior efficiency, integrability, and scalability. Yet, their quantum noise level—a crucial metric for any single-photon-based application—has yet to be investigated. In this work, we report the first, to the best of our knowledge, study with the focus on telecom to near-visible conversion driven by a small detuned telecom pump for practical considerations in distributed quantum processing over fiber networks. Our results find the noise level to be on the order of10−<#comment/>4photons per time-frequency mode for high conversion, allowing faithful pulsed operations. Through carefully analyzing the origins of such noise and each’s dependence on the pump power and wavelength detuning, we have also identified a formula for noise suppression to10−<#comment/>5photons per mode. Our results assert a viable, low-cost, and modular approach to networked quantum processing and beyond using lithium niobate nanophotonics.

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