Single Photon Source C.-Y. Lu/University of Science and Technology of Chin

Toward a Perfect Single-Photon Source

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+  Optical-based quantum technologies use individual photons to encode and transmit information. However, even the best existing tools for generating photons produce beams whose number of photons fluctuates. This fluctuation creates uncertainty in the timing and intensity of a received signal.

In the classical world, it was thought to be straightforward to generate a well-defined amount of radiation in a given time period. But at the quantum scale, inherent uncertainty in a photon’s energy and phase reduces that precision and results in a blurred photon count.


+  Hui Wang and colleagues at the University of Science and Technology of China have now developed a device that suppresses those fluctuations, allowing it to produce a more precise number of photons. The device could be used as a new standard for quantum computing and high-precision quantum measurements.

+  The researchers coupled a semiconductor quantum dot to the center of a 2-μm-diameter cavity using tiny micropillars. When excited by a laser, the quantum dot emitted photons, which were tightly confined in the cavity. This confinement helped reduce photon loss when the photons were subsequently funneled into an optical fiber and measured with a semiconducting nanowire detector.

Image Source:  C.-Y. Lu/University of Science and Technology of China.  Source:  Physics.  Rachel Berkowitz,  Toward a Perfect Single-Photon Source…

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