Extraction of a single photon from an optical pulse

Serge Rosenblum, Orel Bechler, Itay Shomroni, Yulia Lovsky, Gabriel Guendelman, Barak Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Removing a single photon from a pulse is one of the most elementary operations that can be performed on light, having both fundamental significance and practical applications in quantum communication and computation. So far, photon subtraction, in which the removed photon is detected and therefore irreversibly lost, has been implemented in a probabilistic manner with inherently low success rates using low-reflectivity beam splitters. Here we demonstrate a scheme for the deterministic extraction of a single photon from an incoming pulse. The removed photon is diverted to a different mode, enabling its use for other purposes, such as a photon number-splitting attack on quantum key distribution protocols. Our implementation makes use of single-photon Raman interaction (SPRINT) with a single atom near a nanofibre-coupled microresonator. The single-photon extraction probability in our current realization is limited mostly by linear loss, yet probabilities close to unity should be attainable with realistic experimental parameters.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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