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Researchers Make Advance in Single-Photon Sources at Room Temperature

single photon study

Insider Brief

  • Researchers said they made a significant advancement toward the on-chip integration of single-photon sources at room temperature.
  • The key innovation lies in the implementation of a hybrid metal–dielectric bullseye antenna, which delivers exceptional photon directionality.
  • The study demonstrates the versatility of this concept by fabricating devices containing either colloidal quantum dots or nanodiamonds containing silicon-vacancy center.
  • Image: A quantum emitter centrally placed within a hybrid metal-dielectric bullseye antenna, designed for highly directional photon emission. Credit Alexander Nazarov

PRESS RELEASE — A recent study, spearheaded by Boaz Lubotzky during his PhD research, along with Prof. Ronen Rapaport from the Racah Institute of Physics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in collaboration with teams from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the USA and from Ulm University in Germany, unveiled a significant advancement toward the on-chip integration of single-photon sources at room temperature. This achievement represents a significant step forward in the field of quantum photonics and holds promise for various applications including quantum computing, cryptography, and sensing.

The key innovation lies in the implementation of a hybrid metal–dielectric bullseye antenna, which delivers exceptional photon directionality. This novel antenna design allows for the efficient back-excitation of photons by placing the emitter within a subwavelength hole positioned at the center of the antenna. This configuration enables both direct back-excitation and highly efficient front coupling of emission to low numerical aperture optics or optical fibers.

The study demonstrates the versatility of this concept by fabricating devices containing either colloidal quantum dots or nanodiamonds containing silicon-vacancy centers, both are excellent single photon emitters even at room temperature. These emitters were accurately positioned using two distinct nanopositioning methods. Remarkably, both types of back-excited devices exhibited front collection efficiencies of approximately 70% at numerical apertures as low as 0.5. This means one can use very simple and compact optical elements and still collect most of the photons into the desired channel, or accurately send the emitted photons into a nearby optical fiber without the need for any additional coupling optics. This is a key ingredient in the integration of quantum light sources into real quantum systems. This streamlined process promises to simplify future integration efforts and accelerate the realization of practical quantum photonic devices.

Boaz Lubotzky commented on the significance of this achievement, stating, “By overcoming key challenges associated with on-chip integration of single-photon sources, we have opened up exciting new possibilities for the development of advanced quantum technologies.”

The successful integration of single-photon sources onto tiny chips at room temperature, achieved through the innovative use of a hybrid metal–dielectric bullseye antenna has immediate applications in advancing quantum cryptography for secure communication, improving sensing technologies, and streamlining the integration process for practical quantum photonic devices. The study’s findings open doors for commercial applications and the development of new products in the burgeoning field of quantum technologies.

The research paper titled “Room-Temperature Fiber-Coupled Single-Photon Sources based on Colloidal Quantum Dots and SiV Centers in Back-Excited Nanoantennas” is now available in Nano Letters and can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c03672.

Researchers include Boaz Lubotzky, Alexander Nazarov, Hamza Abudayyeh, Lukas Antoniuk, Niklas Lettner, Viatcheslav Agafonov, Anastasia V. Bennett, Somak Majumder, Vigneshwaran Chandrasekaran, Eric G. Bowes, Han Htoon, Jennifer A. Hollingsworth, Alexander Kubanek and Ronen Rapaport.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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The Future of Materials Discovery: Reducing R&D Costs significantly with GenMat’s AI and Machine Learning Tools

When: July 13, 2023 at 11:30am

What: GenMat Webinar

Jake Vikoren

Jake Vikoren

Company Speaker

Deep Prasad

Deep Prasad

Company Speaker

Araceli Venegas

Araceli Venegas

Company Speaker

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