Abstract

A strong limitation of linear optical quantum computing is the probabilistic operation of two-quantum-bit gates based on the coalescence of indistinguishable photons. A route to deterministic operation is to exploit the single-photon nonlinearity of an atomic transition. Through engineering of the atom–photon interaction, phase shifters, photon filters and photon–photon gates have been demonstrated with natural atoms. Proofs of concept have been reported with semiconductor quantum dots, yet limited by inefficient atom–photon interfaces and dephasing. Here, we report a highly efficient single-photon filter based on a large optical nonlinearity at the single-photon level, in a near-optimal quantum-dot cavity interface. When probed with coherent light wavepackets, the device shows a record nonlinearity threshold around 0.3 ± 0.1 incident photons. We demonstrate that 80% of the directly reflected light intensity consists of a single-photon Fock state and that the two- and three-photon components are strongly suppressed compared with the single-photon one.

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Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by the ERC Starting Grant No. 277885 QD-CQED, the French Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (grant ANR SPIQE and USSEPP), the French RENATECH network, a public grant overseen by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as part of the ‘Investissements d'Avenir’ programme (Labex NanoSaclay, reference: ANR-10-LABX-0035), the ARC Centres for Engineered Quantum Systems (grant CE110001013), and Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (grant CE110001027), and the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (grant FA2386-13-1-4070). C.A. acknowledges support from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship SQUAPH. A.G.W. acknowledges support from a University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor's Research and Teaching Fellowship.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies, CNRS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, C2N – Marcoussis, 91460 Marcoussis, France

    • Lorenzo De Santis
    • , Carlos Antón
    • , Niccolo Somaschi
    • , Guillaume Coppola
    • , Carmen Gómez
    • , Aristide Lemaître
    • , Isabelle Sagnes
    • , Loïc Lanco
    •  & Pascale Senellart
  2. CNRS, Inst. NEEL, Nanophysics and Semiconductors group, F-38000 Grenoble, France

    • Bogdan Reznychenko
    •  & Alexia Auffèves
  3. Université Grenoble-Alpes & CNRS, Institut Néel, Grenoble 38000, France

    • Bogdan Reznychenko
    •  & Alexia Auffèves
  4. Systran-SA, Rue Feydeau, 75002 Paris, France

    • Jean Senellart
  5. Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems, Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

    • Andrew G. White
  6. Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France

    • Loïc Lanco

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Contributions

The experiments were conducted by L.d.S with help from N.S., C.A. and G.C. and suggestions from A.G.W. Data analysis was done by L.d.S., C.A. and J.S. The cavity devices were fabricated by N.S. from samples grown by A.L. and C.G. Etching was done by I.S. The theory was developed by B.R. under the supervision of A.A. with help from L.L. All authors participated in scientific discussions and manuscript preparation. This project was supervised by L.L., A.A. and P.S.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Alexia Auffèves or Pascale Senellart.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2017.85

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