Reversible nonmagnetic single-photon isolation using unbalanced quantum coupling

Keyu Xia*, Guowei Lu, Gongwei Lin, Yuqing Cheng, Yueping Niu, Shangqing Gong, Jason Twamley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


The nonreciprocal propagation of light at the single-photon level is essential for building a quantum network. Bulk optical schemes are lossy and difficulty to integrate onto a chip. We propose a single-photon optical diode and a three-port circulator without a magnetic field by coupling an unbalanced quantum impurity to a passive, linear optical waveguide or a whispering-gallery-mode microresonator which supports a locally or globally circularly polarized photon. Thanks to the unbalanced quantum Jaynes-Cummings coupling, the optical nonreciprocal propagation of single photons can be achieved without an external magnetic field. In particular, the three-port single-photon circulator can be accomplished using the existing experimental technology. The optical isolation can be reversed by selectively populating the initial state of the quantum impurity. Moreover, by using an ensemble of identical atoms filled in a hollow-core microbottle resonator, nonreciprocal propagation of weak light pulses can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043802
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Xia, K., Lu, G., Lin, G., Cheng, Y., Niu, Y., Gong, S., & Twamley, J. (2014). Reversible nonmagnetic single-photon isolation using unbalanced quantum coupling. Physical Review A, 90(4), 043802. Copyright (2014) by the American Physical Society. The original article can be found at


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