Metasurface-Enabled Generation of Circularly Polarized Single Photons

Yinhui Kan, Sebastian K.H. Andersen, Fei Ding*, Shailesh Kumar, Changying Zhao, Sergey I. Bozhevolnyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Single photons carrying spin angular momentum (SAM), i.e., circularly polarized single photons generated typically by subjecting a quantum emitter (QE) to a strong magnetic field at low temperatures, are at the core of chiral quantum optics enabling nonreciprocal single-photon configurations and deterministic spin-photon interfaces. Here, a conceptually new approach to the room-temperature generation of SAM-coded single photons (SSPs) is described, which entails QE nonradiative coupling to surface plasmons being transformed, by interacting with an optical metasurface, into a collimated stream of SSPs with the designed handedness. Design, fabrication, and characterization of SSP sources, consisting of dielectric circular nanoridges with azimuthally varying widths deterministically fabricated on a dielectric-protected silver film around a nanodiamond containing a nitrogen-vacancy center, are reported. With properly engineered phases of QE-originated fields scattered by nanoridges, the outcoupled photons are characterized by a well-defined SAM (with the chirality >0.8) and high directionality (collection efficiency up to 92%).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1907832
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number16
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 23. Apr 2020


  • circular polarization
  • metasurfaces
  • quantum emitters
  • single photons
  • surface plasmon polaritons


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