Next generation ultra-secure communications, super-fast computing and enhanced optical measurement techniques are all potential uses for photons of light – a form of quantum energy. Using existing lasers to create single photons, it is not possible to meet the demanding requirements of emerging quantum mechanics technology. New compact and easier to use single photon sources that can be incorporated into quantum optics and measurement applications are needed.
The project Single-photon sources for quantum technologies (SIQUTE) developed single photon sources and measurement techniques enabling, for the first time, the reliable characterisation of quantum sources by European NMIs.
- Developed pulse driving electronics for single photon sources capable of operating at less than a nano-second and with adjustable frequency for generating increased numbers of photons so supporting development of better and easier-to-use single-photon sources.
- Developed simplified analytical models of quantum-dot single photon sources and used them to identify and overcome engineering challenges during single photon source development.
- Developed a single-photon source which has potential for use in detector calibration.
- Developed a switched integrator amplifier for characterising single-photon sources enabling the direct measurement of single-photon fluxes with standard (analogue) silicon based photodiodes.
This project addressed limitations to the broad application of single-photon sources, i.e. their low reliability, low efficiency and impracticability in use. Through collaboration, the individual expertise from each NMI and university was utilised to develop single-photon sources for real world applications, not only for quantum information and communication, but also for entanglement enhanced measurements. As a result, the project’s new technologies will assist researchers and industrialists to develop new applications and measurement techniques.