Spontaneous photon-pair generation at the nanoscale

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Optica, 6 pp. 1416 - 1422
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Optical nanoantennas have shown a great capacity for efficient extraction of photons from the near to the far-field, enabling directional emission from nanoscale single-photon sources. However, their potential for the generation and extraction of multi-photon quantum states remains unexplored. Here we demonstrate experimentally the nanoscale generation of two-photon quantum states at telecommunication wavelengths based on spontaneous parametric down-conversion in an optical nanoantenna. The antenna is a crystalline AlGaAs nanocylinder, possessing Mie-type resonances at both the pump and the bi-photon wavelengths and when excited by a pump beam generates photonpairs with a rate of 35 Hz. Normalized to the pump energy stored by the nanoantenna, this rate corresponds to 1.4 GHz/Wm, being one order of magnitude higher than conventional on-chip or bulk photon-pair sources. Our experiments open the way for multiplexing several antennas for coherent generation of multi-photon quantum states with complex spatial-mode entanglement and applications in free-space quantum communications and sensing.
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