We study experimental techniques for the generation of non-classical light with specific spectral, temporal and spatial properties, tailored for specifc applications. In particular, we study spontaneous parametric processes, both in second order materials (i.e. parametric downconversion) and in third order materials (i.e. spontaneous four-wave mixing).

Spontaneous parmetric processes constitute an established technology for the generation of non-classical radiation, which has been used in a wide range of experiments ranging from fundamental tests of quantum mechanics to implementations of novel quantum information processing schemes. In such processes, an energetic pump beam or pump beams can give rise to photon pairs exhibiting strong correlations in momentum and photon energy. The nonlinear interaction can be tailored for example by dispersion control in the non-linear medium, spatial confinement by waveguiding and the use of shaped pump pulses to yield a wide variety of two-photon states suitable for a number of applications.