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Leent, Tim van; Bock, Matthias; Garthoff, Robert; Redeker, Kai; Zhang, Wei; Bauer, Tobias; Rosenfeld, Wenjamin; Becher, Christoph; Weinfurter, Harald (2020): Long-Distance Distribution of Atom-Photon Entanglement at Telecom Wavelength. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 124, No. 1, 010510
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Entanglement between stationary quantum memories and photonic channels is the essential resource for future quantum networks. Together with entanglement distillation, it will enable efficient distribution of quantum states. We report on the generation and observation of entanglement between a Rb-87 atom and a photon at telecom wavelength transmitted through up to 20 km of optical fiber. For this purpose, we use polarization-preserving quantum frequency conversion to transform the wavelength of a photon entangled with the atomic spin state from 780 nm to the telecom S band at 1522 nm. We achieve an unprecedented external device conversion efficiency of 57% and observe an entanglement fidelity between the atom and telecom photon of >= 78.5 +/- 0.9% after transmission through 20 km of optical fiber, mainly limited by decoherence of the atomic state. This result is an important milestone on the road to distribute quantum information on a large scale.