Generation of single photons from an atom-cavity system

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Martin Mücke, Joerg Bochmann, Carolin Hahn, Andreas Neuzner, Christian Nölleke, Andreas Reiserer, Gerhard Rempe, Stephan Ritter


Phys. Rev. A 87, 063805 (2013)

A single rubidium atom trapped within a high-finesse optical cavity is an efficient source of single photons. We theoretically and experimentally study single-photon generation using a vacuum stimulated Raman adiabatic passage. We experimentally achieve photon generation efficiencies of up to 34% and 56% on the D1 and D2 line, respectively. Output coupling with 89% results in record-high efficiencies for single photons in one spatiotemporally well-defined propagating mode. We demonstrate that the observed generation efficiencies are constant in a wide range of applied pump laser powers and virtual level detunings. This allows for independent control over the frequency and wave packet envelope of the photons without loss in efficiency. In combination with the long trapping time of the atom in the cavity, our system constitutes a significant advancement toward an on-demand, highly efficient single-photon source for quantum information processing tasks.