Improving single photon sources via linear optics and photodetection

Domimic W. Berry*, Stefan Scheel, Peter L. Knight, Barry C. Sanders

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Triggered single-photon sources produce the vacuum state with nonzero probability, but produce a much smaller multiphoton component. It is therefore reasonable to approximate the output of these photon sources as a mixture of the vacuum and single-photon states with probabilities 1−p and p, respectively. Here we are concerned with increasing the efficiency p by directing multiple copies of the single-photon-vacuum mixture into a linear optical device and applying photodetection on some outputs. We prove that it is impossible, under certain conditions, to increase p via linear optics and conditional preparation based on photodetection. We also establish a class of photodetection events for which p can be improved, although with an added multiphoton component. In addition we prove that it is not possible to obtain perfect single-photon states via this method from imperfect (p<1) inputs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number031806
    Pages (from-to)1-4
    Number of pages4
    JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


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