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: 7.51). 10/2011; 107(17):173902. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.173902
Source: PubMed


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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    • "During the last decade experiments have succeeded in coupling single quantum emitters to 1D systems , in a variety of well-established technologies, such as superconducting circuits, semiconductor quantum dots, and nitrogen vacancy centers in diamonds [3] [4] [5] [6]. Likewise , theoretical studies have been directed toward conceiving basic optoelectronic devices that are able to work at the single-or few-photon level, such as quantum optical diodes [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Unidirectional light transport in one-dimensional nanomaterials at the quantum level is a crucial goal to achieve for upcoming computational devices. We here employ a full-quantum mechanical approach based on master equation to describe unidirectional light transport through a pair of two-level systems coupled to a one-dimensional waveguide. By comparing with published semi-classical results, we find that the nonlinearity of the system is reduced, thereby reducing also the unidirectional light transport efficiency. Albeit not fully efficient, we find that the considered quantum system can work as a light diode with an efficiency of approximately 60%. Our results may be used in quantum computation with classical and quantized light.
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    • "This can be exploited to create non-reciprocal transmission at certain frequencies in the waveguide by having the cavity interact with a system sensitive to the helicity of the electric field. As in [17] and [18], we consider a V-type three-level system consisting of a ground state, |g, and two excited states, |e 1 and |e 2 with transitions to each excited state driven by opposite electric field helicity (Fig. 3b). Such a system could be realized by a quantum dot with a Zeeman-like splitting (Sec. "
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    ABSTRACT: We describe an approach to optical non-reciprocity that exploits the local helicity of evanescent electric fields in axisymmetric resonators. By interfacing an optical cavity to helicity-sensitive transitions, such as Zeeman levels in a quantum dot, light transmission through a waveguide becomes direction-dependent when the state degeneracy is lifted. Using a linearized quantum master equation, we analyze the configurations that exhibit non-reciprocity, and we show that reasonable parameters from existing cavity QED experiments are sufficient to demonstrate a coherent non-reciprocal optical isolator operating at the level of a single photon.
    Optics Express 04/2014; 22(13). DOI:10.1364/OE.22.016099 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    • "Furthermore, the access to photon nonlinearities that are sensitive at the SP level [6] [7] would open for novel opportunities of constructing highly efficient deterministic quantum gates [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]. A single quantum emitter that is efficiently coupled to a photonic waveguide [14] would facilitate such a SP nonlinearity, enabling the realization of single-photon switches and diodes [7] [8] [9], as well as serve as a highly efficient single-photon source. So far, experimental progress has been limited to superconducting qubit systems where the generation of nonclassical states at microwave frequencies was reported [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A quantum emitter efficiently coupled to a nanophotonic waveguide constitutes a promising system for the realization of single-photon transistors, quantum-logic gates based on giant single-photon nonlinearities, and high bit-rate deterministic single-photon sources. The key figure of merit for such devices is the beta-factor, which is the probability for an emitted single photon to be channeled into a desired waveguide mode. Here we report on the experimental achievement of beta = 98.43 +- 0.04% for a quantum dot coupled to a photonic-crystal waveguide. This constitutes a nearly ideal photon-matter interface where the quantum dot acts effectively as a 1D "artificial" atom since it interacts almost exclusively with just a single propagating optical mode. The beta-factor is found to be remarkably robust to variations in position and emission wavelength of the quantum dots. Our work demonstrates the extraordinary potential of photonic-crystal waveguides for highly efficient single-photon generation and on-chip photon-photon interaction.
    Physical Review Letters 02/2014; 113(9). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.093603 · 7.51 Impact Factor
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