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Single-photon Transistors Based on the Interaction of an Emitter and Surface Plasmons

Fang-Yu Hong* and Shi-Jie Xiong

Author Affiliations

National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2008, 3:361-364  doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9166-9

Published: 19 September 2008


A symmetrical approach is suggested (Chang DE et al. Nat Phys 3:807, 2007) to realize a single-photon transistor, where the presence (or absence) of a single incident photon in a ‘gate’ field is sufficient to allow (prevent) the propagation of a subsequent ‘signal’ photon along the nanowire, on condition that the ‘gate’ field is symmetrically incident from both sides of an emitter simultaneously. We present a scheme for single-photon transistors based on the strong emitter-surface-plasmon interaction. In this scheme, coherent absorption of an incoming ‘gate’ photon incident along a nanotip by an emitter located near the tip of the nanotip results in a state flip in the emitter, which controls the subsequent propagation of a ‘signal’ photon in a nanowire perpendicular to the axis of the nanotip.

Single-photon transistor; Nanotip; Surface plasmon