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Proceedings Paper

Characterization of photons generated in spontaneous parametric down-conversion
Author(s): Mark Bashkansky; Igor Vurgaftman; J. Reintjes
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Paper Abstract

Low-photon-number sources can exhibit non-classical, counterintuitive behavior that can be exploited in the developing field of quantum technology. Single photons play a special role in this arena since they represent the ultimate lowphoton- number source. They are considered an important element in various applications such as quantum key distribution, optical quantum information processing, quantum computing, intensity measurement standards, and others yet to be discovered in this developing field. True deterministic sources of single photons on demand are currently an area of intensive research, but have not been demonstrated in a practical setting. As a result, researchers commonly default to the well-established workhorse: spontaneous parametric down-conversion generating entangled signal-idler pairs. Since this source is thermal-statistical in nature, it is common to use a detected idler photon to herald the production of a signal photon. The need exists to determine the quality of the single photons generated in the heralded signal beam. Quite often, the literature reports a "heralded second-order coherence function" of the signal photons conditioned on the idler photons using readily available single-photon detectors. In this work, we examine the applicability of this technique to single-photon characterization and the consequences of the fact that the most commonly used single-photon detectors are not photon-number resolving. Our results show that this method using non-photonresolving detectors can only be used to characterize the signal-idler correlations rather than the nature of the signalphoton state alone.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9123, Quantum Information and Computation XII, 91230G (22 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2050879
Show Author Affiliations
Mark Bashkansky, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Igor Vurgaftman, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
J. Reintjes, Sotera Defense Solutions (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9123:
Quantum Information and Computation XII
Eric Donkor; Andrew R. Pirich; Howard E. Brandt; Michael R. Frey; Samuel J. Lomonaco; John M. Myers, Editor(s)

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