Single-Photon Generation and Detection

Single-Photon Generation and Detection

Physics and Applications

1st Edition - October 1, 2013

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  • Editors: Alan Migdall, Sergey Polyakov, Jingyun Fan, Joshua Bienfang
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123876966
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123876959

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Single-photon generation and detection is at the forefront of modern optical physics research. This book is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the current status of single-photon techniques and research methods in the spectral region from the visible to the infrared. The use of single photons, produced on demand with well-defined quantum properties, offers an unprecedented set of capabilities that are central to the new area of quantum information and are of revolutionary importance in areas that range from the traditional, such as high sensitivity detection for astronomy, remote sensing, and medical diagnostics, to the exotic, such as secretive surveillance and very long communication links for data transmission on interplanetary missions. The goal of this volume is to provide researchers with a comprehensive overview of the technology and techniques that are available to enable them to better design an experimental plan for its intended purpose. The book will be broken into chapters focused specifically on the development and capabilities of the available detectors and sources to allow a comparative understanding to be developed by the reader along with and idea of how the field is progressing and what can be expected in the near future. Along with this technology, we will include chapters devoted to the applications of this technology, which is in fact much of the driver for its development. This is set to become the go-to reference for this field.

Key Features

  • Covers all the basic aspects needed to perform single-photon experiments and serves as the first reference to any newcomer who would like to produce an experimental design that incorporates the latest techniques
  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of single-photon techniques and research methods in the spectral region from the visible to the infrared, thus giving broad background that should enable newcomers to the field to make rapid progress in gaining proficiency
  • Written by leading experts in the field, among which, the leading Editor is recognized as having laid down the roadmap, thus providing the reader with an authenticated and reliable source


Academic and Industrial Scientists using Spectrophotometric Techniques to Characterize Various Materials

Table of Contents

  • Contributors

    Volumes in series


    Single-Photon Generation and Detection: Physics and Applications

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    1.1 Physics of Light—an Historical Perspective

    1.2 Quantum Light

    1.3 The Development of Single-Photon Technologies

    1.4 Some Applications of Single-Photon Technology

    1.5 This book

    1.6 Conclusions



    Chapter 2. Photon Statistics, Measurements, and Measurements Tools


    2.1 Quantized Electric Field & Operator Notation

    2.2 Source Characteristics

    2.3 Detector Properties



    Chapter 3. Photomultiplier Tubes


    3.1 Introduction

    3.2 Brief History

    3.3 Principle of Operation

    3.4 Photon Counting with Photomultipliers

    3.5 Conclusion


    Chapter 4. Semiconductor-Based Detectors


    4.1 Photon Counting: When and Why

    4.2 Why Semiconductor Detectors for Photon Counting?

    4.3 Principle of Operation of Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes

    4.4 Performance Parameters and Features of SPAD Devices

    4.5 Circuit Principles for SPAD Operation

    4.6 Silicon SPAD Devices

    4.7 Silicon SPAD Array Detectors

    4.8 SPADs for the Infrared Spectral Range

    4.9 Active Gating Techniques for InGaAs SPADs

    4.10 Future Prospects for Silicon SPADs

    4.11 Future Prospects for InGaAs SPADs


    Chapter 5. Novel Semiconductor Single-Photon Detectors


    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Solid-State Photomultipliers and Visible-Light Photon Counters

    5.3 Quantum-Dot-Based Detectors



    Chapter 6. Detectors Based on Superconductors


    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detectors

    6.3 Transition-Edge Sensors

    6.4 Superconducting Tunnel Junction Detectors

    6.5 Microwave Kinetic-Inductance Detectors

    6.6 Conclusions and Perspective



    Chapter 7. Hybrid Detectors


    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 Space-Multiplexed Detectors

    7.3 Time-multiplexed Detectors

    7.4 Up-Conversion Detectors

    7.5 Conclusion


    Chapter 8. Single-Photon Detector Calibration


    8.1 Introduction

    8.2 Definitions

    8.3 Calibration Methods

    8.4 Practical Considerations

    8.5 Conclusion


    Chapter 9. Quantum Detector Tomography


    9.1 Introduction

    9.2 Quantum Tomography: Prelude

    9.3 Detector Tomography

    9.4 Experimental Implementations of Detector Tomography

    9.5 Conclusions


    Chapter 10. The First Single-Photon Sources

    10.1 Introduction

    10.2 Feeble Light vs. Single Photon

    10.3 Photon Pairs as a Resource for Single Photons

    10.4 Single-Photon Interferences

    10.5 Further Developments


    Chapter 11. Parametric Down-Conversion


    11.1 Introduction

    11.2 Single Photons from PDC: Theory

    11.3 Bulk-Crystal PDC

    11.4 Periodically-Poled Crystal PDC

    11.5 Waveguide-Crystal PDC

    11.6 Comparison of Experimental Single-Photon Sources Using PDC

    11.7 Overview of the Most Commonly Used Nonlinear Materials and Their Properties

    11.8 Conclusion


    Chapter 12. Four-Wave Mixing in Single-Mode Optical Fibers


    12.1 Introduction

    12.2 Photon Pair Generation in Optical Fibers

    12.3 Heralded Single-Photon Sources Based onsFWM

    12.4 Quantum Interference Between Separate Spectrally Filtered Fiber Sources

    12.5 Intrinsically Pure-State Photons

    12.6 Entangled Photon-Pair Sources

    12.7 Applications of Fiber Photon Sources—All-Fiber Quantum Logic Gates

    12.8 Photonic Fusion in Fiber

    12.9 Conclusion


    Chapter 13. Single Emitters in Isolated Quantum Systems

    13.1 Introduction

    13.2 Single Photons from Atoms and Ions - A. Kuhn

    13.3 Single Photons from Semiconductor Quantum Dots - G. S. Solomon

    13.4 Single Defects in Diamond - C. Santori

    13.5 Future Directions



    Chapter 14. Generation and Storage of Single Photons in Collectively Excited Atomic Ensembles


    14.1 Introduction

    14.2 Basic Concepts

    14.3 From Heralded to Deterministic Single-Photon Sources

    14.4 Interference of Photons from Independent Sources

    14.5 Conclusion and Outlook




Product details

  • No. of pages: 616
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2013
  • Published: October 1, 2013
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123876966
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123876959

About the Series Volume Editors

Alan Migdall

Alan Migdall
Alan Migdall leads the Quantum Optics Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose mission is the study and use of nonclassical light sources and detectors for application in absolute metrology, quantum enabled measurements, quantum information, and tests of fundamental physics. He and his group are also engaged in efforts aimed at advancing single-photon source, detector, and processing technologies for these applications. Migdall is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, a joint institute of the University of Maryland and NIST. Migdall is also a fellow of the American Physical Society and an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland. While he has a long list of publications, recent highlights of his work include the experimental demonstration of a coherent receiver with error rates below the standard quantum limit to a degree far exceeding any previous efforts, demonstration of topologically robust photonic states in an integrated Silicon photonics waveguide chip, tests of nonlocal realism alternatives to quantum mechanics using entangled two-photon light. Other work has involved the development of single photon light sources and the use of two-photon light for absolute measurements of the detection efficiency of single-photon detectors and verifying those results to the highest accuracy yet achieved. Another application in radiometry used two-photon light to determine spectral radiance in the infrared without requiring a calibrated detector or even one sensitive to the infrared. As a postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Standards, as the field of laser cooling and trapping was getting off the ground, he was part of the team that achieved the first trapping of a neutral atom.

Affiliations and Expertise

National Institute of Technology, Gaithersburg

Sergey Polyakov

Sergey V. Polyakov is a physicist in Quantum Measurement Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose mission is the study and use of quantum light sources and single-photon detectors for advancing novel, quantum-enabled measurements, quantum information, and tests of fundamental physics. Recently, Sergey has developed new characterization techniques for classical and non-classical light sources, which were successfully applied for an in-depth analysis of a range of optical sources: from quantum dots to parametric down-conversion single-photon sources, to faint lasers and thermal sources. He demonstrated indistinguishability of single photons generated by single photon sources of different nature. He also holds an accuracy record in comparing absolute calibrations of single-photon detectors using a quantum two-photon method and a more traditional radiant-power measurement and detector substitution method. As a postdoctoral fellow of California Institute of Technology, he contributed in development of early ensemble-based sources of single photons, and he co-authored first demonstration of entanglement in remote atomic ensembles, published by Nature.

Affiliations and Expertise

NIST, Gaithersburg, MD

Jingyun Fan

Jingyun Fan is a physicist affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Joint Quantum Institute of University of Maryland. He contributed to the early development of fiber-based photonic entanglement, which is now a standard tool as an alternative to spontaneous parametric down-conversion for quantum information processing tasks. His contributions to spontaneous parametric down-conversion include achieving a collection efficiency for a two-photon pair source that for the first time exceeds the threshold needed for a loop-hole free test of Bell’s inequality. His recent work in the field of quantum measurement science involves the demonstration of a number of strategically designed quantum measurement protocols that bridge the gap between quantum communication and coherent optical communication for the first time. His most recent work explores the interaction of light in complex photonic systems as a way to simulate a range of physical phenomena not easily accessible through other means.

Affiliations and Expertise

NIST, Gaithersburg, MD

Joshua Bienfang

Joshua Bienfang
Joshua C. Bienfang is a member of the Quantum Optics Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose mission is the study non-classical light and detectors for use in absolute metrology, quantum-enabled measurements, quantum information, and tests of fundamental physics. Josh’s recent work in single-photon detection systems has resulted in unprecedented efficiency and noise performance in fast gated detectors, and advances in fast quenching of Si devices to reduce afterpulsing. As an NRC post-doc, Josh conducted some of the earliest investigations of high-speed free-space quantum key distribution and demonstrated a scalable system with orders-of-magnitude improvement in speed over prior techniques. As a graduate student at the University of New Mexico, Josh studied laser frequency stabilization and nonlinear optics, and built a 20 W sodium-guidestar source for adaptive optics systems, the first high-power continuous-wave source of this kind.

Affiliations and Expertise

NIST, Gaithersburg, MD

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