Effect of loss on multiplexed single-photon sources

Damien Bonneau, Gabriel J. Mendoza, Jeremy L. O'Brien, Mark G. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Web of Science)


An on-demand single-photon source is a key requirement for scaling many optical quantum technologies. A promising approach to realize an on-demand single-photon source is to multiplex an array of heralded single-photon sources using an active optical switching network. However, the performance of multiplexed sources is degraded by photon loss in the optical components and the non-unit detection efficiency of the heralding detectors.We provide a theoretical description of a general multiplexed single-photon source with lossy components and derive expressions for the output probabilities of single-photon emission and multi-photon contamination.We apply these expressions to three specific multiplexing source architectures and consider their tradeoffs in design and performance. To assess the effect of lossy components on near- and long-term experimental goals, we simulate the multiplexed sources when used for many-photon state generation under various amounts of component loss. We find that with a multiplexed source composed of switches with ∼0.2-0.4 dB loss and high efficiency number-resolving detectors, a single-photon source capable of efficiently producing 20-40 photon states with low multi-photon contamination is possible, offering the possibility of unlocking new classes of experiments and technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043057
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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