Hybrid microfiber–lithium-niobate nanowaveguide structures as high-purity heralded single-photon sources

Philip Main, Peter J. Mosley, Wei Ding, Lijian Zhang, and Andrey V. Gorbach

Physical Review A

We propose a compact, fiber-integrated architecture for photon-pair generation by parametric downconversion with unprecedented flexibility in the properties of the photons produced. Our approach is based on a thin-film lithium niobate nanowaveguide, evanescently coupled to a tapered silica microfiber. We demonstrate how controllable mode hybridization between the fiber and waveguide yields control over the joint spectrum of the photon pairs. We also investigate how independent engineering of the linear and nonlinear properties of the structure can be achieved through the addition of a tapered, proton-exchanged layer to the waveguide. This allows further refinement of the joint spectrum through custom profiling of the effective nonlinearity, drastically improving the purity of the heralded photons. We give details of a source design capable of generating heralded single photons in the telecom wavelength range with purity of at least 0.95, and we provide a feasible fabrication methodology.

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