Atomic Source of Single Photons in the Telecom Band

A. M. Dibos, M. Raha, C. M. Phenicie, J. D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


Single atoms and atomlike defects in solids are ideal quantum light sources and memories for quantum networks. However, most atomic transitions are in the ultraviolet-visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, where propagation losses in optical fibers are prohibitively large. Here, we observe for the first time the emission of single photons from a single Er3+ ion in a solid-state host, whose optical transition at 1.5 μm is in the telecom band, allowing for low-loss propagation in optical fiber. This is enabled by integrating Er3+ ions with silicon nanophotonic structures, which results in an enhancement of the photon emission rate by a factor of more than 650. Dozens of distinct ions can be addressed in a single device, and the splitting of the lines in a magnetic field confirms that the optical transitions are coupled to the electronic spin of the Er3+ ions. These results are a significant step towards long-distance quantum networks and deterministic quantum logic for photons based on a scalable silicon nanophotonics architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number243601
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 11 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Atomic Source of Single Photons in the Telecom Band'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this