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Journal Article

Coherence Properties of Molecular Single Photons for Quantum Networks


Wrachtrup,  J.
Max Planck Society;

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Rezai, M., Wrachtrup, J., & Gerhardt, I. (2018). Coherence Properties of Molecular Single Photons for Quantum Networks. Physical Review X, 8(3): 031026.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000E-D892-9
Quantum mechanics implies that a single photon can be in the superposition of two distant spatial modes and enable nonlocal interferences. The most vivid example is the two-photon coalescence on a 50:50 beam splitter, known as Hong-Ou-Mandel interference. In the past decade, this experiment has been used to characterize the suitability of different single-photon sources for linear optical quantum gates. This characterization alone cannot guarantee the suitability of the photons in a scalable quantum network. As for a deeper insight, we perform a number of nonclassical interference measurements of single photons emitted by a single organic molecule that are optimized by an atomic Faraday filter. Our measurements reveal near unity visibility of the quantum interference, and a one-port correlation measurement proves the ideal Fourier limited nature of our single-photon source. A delayed choice quantum eraser allows us to observe a constructive interference between the photons, and a Hong-Ou-Mandel peak is formed additionally to the commonly observed dip. These experiments comprehensively characterize the involved photons for their use in a future quantum Internet, and they attest to the fully efficient interaction of the molecular photons with a next subsequent quantum node. They can be adapted to other emitters and will allow us to gain insights to their applicability for quantum information processing. We introduce a quality number that describes the photon's properties for their use in a quantum network; this states that effectively 97% of the utilized molecular photons can be used in a scalable quantum optical system and interact with other quantum nodes. The experiments are based on a hybridization of solid state quantum optics, atomic systems, and all-optical quantum information processing.