Post-processing with linear optics for improving the quality of single-photon sources

Dominic W. Berry*, Stefan Scheel, Casey R. Myers, Barry C. Sanders, Peter L. Knight, Raymond Laflamme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Triggered single-photon sources produce the vacuum state with non-negligible 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. We show that it is impossible to increase the probability for a single photon using linear optics and photodetection on fewer than four modes. This impossibility is due to the incoherence of the inputs; if the inputs were pure-state superpositions, it would be possible to obtain a perfect single-photon output. In the more general case, a chain of beam splitters can be used to increase the probability for a single photon, but at the expense of adding an additional multiphoton component. This improvement is robust against detector inefficiencies, but is degraded by distinguishable photons, dark counts or multiphoton components in the input.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2004

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