A single molecule as a high-fidelity photon-gun for producing intensity-squeezed light

19.01.2017, 07:12

Generation of light with intensity fluctuations below the shot-noise limit has been one of the most important challenges in quantum optics. An elegant approach was proposed in the 1980s: through excitation of a two-level atom, a stream of single photons is generated, ideally with no photon number fluctuations. Experimental realizations of such a deterministic single-photon source (SPS) have been hindered by large losses. Using a planar metallo-dielectric antenna applied to an organic molecule, we have now demonstrated the most regular single photon stream reported to date. A metallo-dielectric antenna re-shapes and directs the emission of an emitter into a solid angle that is small enough for collection by a conventional microscope objective. Figure (a) shows the measured sub-Poissonian nature of the SPS. The intensity noise is reduced by 40% (blue) relative to a shot-noise limited source (grey), equivalent to 2.2 dB of intensity squeezing. The remarkable regularity of the SPS is shown in Fig. (b), where individual photon detection events are portrayed. Such an intensity-squeezed SPS would be desirable in quantum imaging, sensing, precision measurements and information processing. 

Figures

 

A single molecule as a high-fidelity photon-gun for producing intensity-squeezed light

X.-L. Chu, S. Götzinger, and V. Sandoghdar, Nature Photonics 11, 58 (2017).

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