We create quantized spin gratings by single-photon detection and convert them on demand into photons with retrieval efficiencies exceeding 40% (80%) for single (a few) quanta. We show that the collective conversion process, proceeding via superradiant emission into a moderate-finesse optical resonator, requires phase matching. The storage time of 3 micros in the cold-atom sample, as well as the peak retrieval efficiency, are likely limited by Doppler decoherence of the entangled state.
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The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16197139