Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


An ideal single-photon source will produce a single-photon triggered by the push of a button. Remarkable progress has been made in recent years to the point where photons from such sources can be delivered to an end user with a probability exceeding 50%. The downside to current state of the art single-photon source technology is the high barrier to entry: sources are triggered by pulsed laser systems, operate at cryogenic temperatures, and frequently require employment of specialist staff all of which exacerbates costs. The result is that for many applications, potential users opt for simpler and more cost-effective probabilistic sources, where the single photon probability is capped at <10%.
COMPHORT tackles this challenge by developing a user-friendly "plug & play" device that will feature single-photon generation probabilities exceeding 80% without requiring bulky laser systems or cryogenics. To achieve this, we take advantage of the exceptional optical properties of single photons generated by quantum emitters in hexagonal boron nitride, when operated under ambient conditions (20 degC). We will then enhance this by directly integrating emitters into bespoke open optical cavities, which will be packaged into a robust assembly to provide reliable operation. Further, a pump LED will be monolithically integrated into our open cavity design to trigger single-photon emission, providing the end user with a simplified electrically driven device. Both the quantum emitters and optical cavity can be engineered to suit a range of quantum applications (from communications to metrology or imaging). To showcase the suitability of our technology for real-world applications, we will implement free-space quantum communication protocols at the laboratory-scale and in a metropolitan free-space link in Berlin city. This quantum application is crucial to interconnect networks where optical fibers are not available (such as disaster zones, or field hospitals) and/or a changing geo-localisation between nodes is required (autonomous car, aeroplanes, drones, etc). The project will develop in close collaboration with the SME partners Nanoplus GmbH and QLocked, bridging the connection between our technology outcomes and the quantum photonics market. The outputs of COMPHORT are aimed at providing Europe with a valuable sovereign technology
in an increasingly competitive quantum-enabled world economy


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