A highly efficient single-photon source based on a quantum dot in a photonic nanowire
The development of efficient solid-state sources of single photons is a major challenge in the context of quantum communication, optical quantum information processing and metrology1. Such a source must enable the implementation of a stable, single-photon emitter, like a colour centre in diamond2, 3, 4 or a semiconductor quantum dot5, 6, 7. Achieving a high extraction efficiency has long been recognized as a major issue, and both classical solutions8 and cavity quantum electrodynamics effects have been applied1, 9, 10, 11, 12. We adopt a different approach, based on an InAs quantum dot embedded in a GaAs photonic nanowire with carefully tailored ends13. Under optical pumping, we demonstrate a record source efficiency of 0.72, combined with pure single-photon emission. This non-resonant approach also provides broadband spontaneous emission control, thus offering appealing novel opportunities for the development of single-photon sources based on spectrally broad emitters, wavelength-tunable sources or efficient sources of entangled photon pairs.