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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    • "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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