Single-Photon Diode by Exploiting the Photon Polarization in a Waveguide

Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.73). 10/2011; 107(17):173902. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.173902
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A single-photon optical diode operates on individual photons and allows unidirectional propagation of photons. By exploiting the unique polarization configuration in a waveguide, we show here that a single-photon optical diode can be accomplished by coupling a quantum impurity to a passive, linear optical waveguide which possesses a locally planar, circular polarization. We further show that the diode provides a near unitary contrast for an input pulse with finite frequency bandwidth and can be implemented in a variety of types of waveguides. Moreover, the performance of the diode is not sensitive to the intrinsic dissipation of the quantum impurity.

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