At optical frequencies the radiation produced by a source, such as a laser, a black body or a single-photon emitter, is frequently characterized by analysing the temporal correlations of emitted photons using single-photon counters. At microwave frequencies, however, there are no efficient single-photon counters yet. Instead, well-developed linear amplifiers allow for efficient measurement of the amplitude of an electromagnetic field. Here, we demonstrate first- and second-order correlation function measurements of a pulsed microwave-frequency single-photon source integrated on the same chip with a 50/50 beam splitter followed by linear amplifiers and quadrature amplitude detectors. We clearly observe single-photon coherence in first-order and photon antibunching in second-order correlation function measurements of the propagating fields.
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We thank T. Frey and G. Littich for their contributions at the early stages of the project. We also thank C. M. Caves, D. Esteve and especially K. W. Lehnert for very fruitful discussions and J. Blatter for comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the European Research Council (ERC) through a Starting Grant and by ETHZ. M.P.d.S. was supported by a NSERC postdoctoral fellowship. A.B. was supported by NSERC, CIFAR and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Bozyigit, D., Lang, C., Steffen, L. et al. Antibunching of microwave-frequency photons observed in correlation measurements using linear detectors. Nature Phys 7, 154–158 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys1845
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