Effect of loss on multiplexed single-photon sources

Damien Bonneau, G Mendoza, Jeremy O'Brien, Mark Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


An on-demand single-photon source is a key requirement for scaling many optical quantum technologies. A promising approach to realize an on-demand single-photon source is to multiplex an array of heralded single-photon sources using an active optical switching network. However, the performance of multiplexed sources is degraded by photon loss in the optical components and the non-unit detection efficiency of the heralding detectors. We provide a theoretical description of a general multiplexed single-photon source with lossy components and derive expressions for the output probabilities of single-photon emission and multi-photon contamination. We apply these expressions to three specific multiplexing source architectures and consider their tradeoffs in design and performance. To assess the effect of lossy components on near- and long-term experimental goals, we simulate the multiplexed sources when used for many-photon state generation under various amounts of component loss. We find that with a multiplexed source composed of switches with $\sim 0.2-0.4$ dB loss and high efficiency number-resolving detectors, a single-photon source capable of efficiently producing 20–40 photon states with low multi-photon contamination is possible, offering the possibility of unlocking new classes of experiments and technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043057
Number of pages16
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number4
Early online date28 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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