Efficient single-photon pair generation by spontaneous parametric down-conversion in nonlinear plasmonic metasurfaces

Boyuan Jin, Dhananjay Mishra, Christos Argyropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) is one of the most versatile nonlinear optical techniques for the generation of entangled and correlated single-photon pairs. However, it suffers from very poor efficiency leading to extremely weak photon generation rates. Here we propose a plasmonic metasurface design based on silver nanostripes combined with a bulk lithium niobate (LiNbO3) crystal to realize a new scalable, ultrathin, and efficient SPDC source. By coinciding fundamental and higher order resonances of the metasurface with the generated signal and idler frequencies, respectively, the electric field in the nonlinear media is significantly boosted. This leads to a substantial enhancement in the SPDC process which, subsequently, by using the quantum-classical correspondence principle, translates to very high photon-pair generation rates. The emitted radiation is highly directional and perpendicular to the metasurface in contrast to relevant dielectric structures. The incorporation of circular polarized excitation further increases the photon-pair generation efficiency. The presented work will lead to the design of new efficient ultrathin SPDC single-photon nanophotonic sources working at room temperature that are expected to be critical components in free-space quantum optical communications. In a more general context, our findings can have various applications in the emerging field of quantum plasmonics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19903-19914
Number of pages12
Issue number47
StatePublished - Dec 21 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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