Abstract

Heralded single photons produced on a silicon chip represent an integrated photon source solution for scalable photonic quantum technologies. The key limitation of such sources is their non-deterministic nature introduced by the stochastic spontaneous four-wave mixing (SFWM) process. Active spatial and temporal multiplexing can improve this by enhancing the single-photon rate without degrading the quantum signal-to-noise ratio. Here, taking advantage of the broad bandwidth of SFWM in a silicon nanowire, we experimentally demonstrate heralded single-photon generation from a silicon nanowire pumped by time and wavelength division multiplexed pulses. We show a 90±5% enhancement on the heralded photon rate at the cost of only 14±2% reduction to the signal-to-noise ratio, close to the performance found using only time division multiplexed pulses. As single-photon events are distributed to multiple wavelength channels, this new scheme overcomes the saturation limit of avalanche single-photon detectors and will improve the ultimate performance of such photon sources.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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