Single-photon sources as new quantum standards

Short Name: SIQUST, Project Number: 17FUN06
Image of the setup or the nitrogen-vacancy centre based absolute single-photon source provided by PTB
Setup for the nitrogen-vacancy centre based absolute single-photon source - Courtesy of PTB

Improving sources of single photons to accelerate quantum technology innovation

Technologies based on the laws of quantum mechanics are the next stage of industrial and scientific innovation.

With far-reaching applications, from super-fast computers and ultra-secure communication to sensitive sensors for biomedical imaging, they will help to provide solutions to many of today’s global challenges.

A fundamental building block of optical quantum technologies are light sources that can emit single photons. However, despite large steps forward, existing single-photon sources were still insufficient for real, practical uses.


This project carried out the fundamental work needed to develop a new quantum standard, by assessing and establishing new materials and designs for single-photon sources.

It also developed essential elements for supporting measurement infrastructure, such as amplifiers and detectors.

By providing access to better single-photon sources, this project helped catalyse future innovation in the field of optical quantum technology, and contributed towards the future realisation of a quantum definition of the luminous intensity SI base unit, the candela.


This project built on results from the EMRP project EXL02 SIQUTE.


Project website
Anomalous weak values via a single photon detection

Light: Science & Applications

Fluorine-based color centers in diamond

Scientific Reports

Other Participants
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (Spain)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen - Nürnberg (Germany)
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)
Technische Universität Berlin (Germany)
Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy)
Universitaet Stuttgart (Germany)
Universität des Saarlandes (Germany)