Single-Photon Source Based on Coupling to Plasmons in Nanoscale Metallic Structures – University of Copenhagen

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02 November 2011

Single-Photon Source Based on Coupling to Plasmons in Nanoscale Metallic Structures

A strong modification of the spontaneous decay rate of an excited quantum dot can be achieved by placing nanoscaled metallic objects close to the quantum dot.

If the metallic object is placed significantly close it is possible for the quantum dot to transfer its excitation to a propagating surface plasmon with a high efficiency. The metallic structures can be constructed as plasmon waveguides, which ensures that the produced plasmons are travelling in a fixed direction. It is subsequently possible to out-couple the propagating plasmon to light propagating in a dielectric waveguide yielding a single photon in a predetermined direction.

This configuration, which was first proposed in [1], promises a way to obtain an efficient and broadband single-photon source. 

We will study both experimentally and theoretically the characteristics of different types of metallic waveguides. The first experimental demonstration of quantum dot/plasmon coupling has very recently been published [2], thus proving the feasibility of the approach.