We report an experimental realisation of a quantum random number generator using a plasmonic beamsplitter. Free-space single photons are converted into propagating single surface plasmon polaritons on a gold stripe waveguide via a grating. The surface plasmons are then guided to a region where they are scattered into one of two possible outputs. The presence of a plasmonic excitation in a given output determines the value of a random bit generated from the quantum scattering process. Using a stream of single surface plasmons injected into the beamsplitter we achieve a quantum random number generation rate of 2.37 Mbits s -1 even in the presence of loss. We characterise the quality of the random number sequence generated, finding it to be comparable to sequences from other quantum photonic-based devices. The compact nature of our nanophotonic device makes it suitable for tight integration in on-chip applications, such as in quantum computing and communication schemes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering