First heralded single photon source made from silicon
A “heralded” photon is one of a pair whose existence is proclaimed by the detection of its partner -- the “herald” photon. To attain heralded single photons researchers built upon a technique previously demonstrated in silicon called photon pair generation. A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the University of California, San Diego and the Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, have demonstrated the first heralded single photon source made from silicon. The new 0.5 mm x 0.05 mm-sized heralded photon generator meshes with existing technology in integral ways: operating at room temperature and producing photons compatible with existing telecommunications systems. This is an important step towards more practical quantum information processing. This breakthrough was made possible by utilizing silicon-based technology and could supply the performance needed for practical applications.