Scientific article

What are single photons good for?

Published inJournal of modern optics, vol. 59, no. 17, p. 1458-1464
Publication date2012

In a long-held preconception, photons play a central role in present-day quantum technologies. But what are sources producing photons one by one good for precisely? Well, in opposition to what many suggest, we show that single-photon sources are not helpful for point to point quantum key distribution because faint laser pulses do the job comfortably. However, there is no doubt about the usefulness of sources producing single photons for future quantum technologies. In particular, we show how single-photon sources could become the seed of a revolution in the framework of quantum communication, making the security of quantum key distribution device-independent or extending quantum communication over many hundreds of kilometers. Hopefully, these promising applications will provide a guideline for researchers to develop more and more efficient sources, producing narrowband, pure and indistinguishable photons at appropriate wavelengths.

  • Single photons
  • QKD
  • Quantum optics (inc. quantum information)
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
SANGOUARD, Nicolas Bruno, ZBINDEN, Hugo. What are single photons good for? In: Journal of modern optics, 2012, vol. 59, n° 17, p. 1458–1464. doi: 10.1080/09500340.2012.687500
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0950-0340

Technical informations

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