High-performance, single photon sources are closer to reality. A single photon can be used to implement secure optical communication, also known as quantum cryptography.

According to scientists, a single photon signature that took eight hours five years back can now be achieved on a millisecond time scale. This was achieved using a novel microcavity structure that strongly enhances the light extracted from the optically active material. Moreover, with the help of embedded electrical gates, researchers demonstrated suppression of unwanted dead-times in the emission process, producing a net single photon generation rate of 100 MHz into an optical fiber.

The ongoing research is being conducted by Stefan Strauf, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics & Engineering Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology, along with colleagues from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Leiden University in the Netherlands. According to Strauf, the research could lead to photonic networks designed to achieve scalable quantum computation, thus allowing computers to perform calculations exponentially faster than traditional computers.

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