The development of efficient solid-state sources of single photons is a major challenge in the context of quantum communication,optical quantum information processing and metrology1. Such a source must enable the implementation of a stable, single-photon emitter, like a colour centre in diamond2–4 or a semiconductor quantum dot5–7. Achieving a high extraction efficiency has long been recognized as a major issue, and both classical solutions8 and cavity quantum electrodynamics effects have been applied1,9–12. We adopt a different approach, based on an InAs quantum dot embedded in a GaAs photonic nanowire with carefully tailored ends13. Under optical pumping, we demonstrate a record source efficiency of 0.72, combined with pure single-photon emission. This non-resonant approach also provides broadband spontaneous emission control, thus offering appealing novel opportunities for the development of single-photon sources based on spectrally broad emitters, wavelength-tunable sources or efficient sources of entangled photon pairs.
Bibliographical notePublished online, 31. January 2010
- Quantum Optics
- Light Sources