Solid-state sources capable of emitting single photons on demand are of great interest in quantum information applications. Ideally, such a source should emit exactly one photon into the collection optics per trigger, the emitted photons should be indistinguishable, and the source should be electrically driven. Several design strategies addressing these requirements have been proposed. In the cavity-based source, light emission is controlled using resonant cavity quantum electrodynamics effects, whereas in the waveguide-based source, broadband electric field screening effects are employed to direct the light emission into the optical mode of interest. For all the strategies, accurate modeling and careful optical engineering is required to achieve high performance. In this study, we discuss the models and numerical techniques used to analyze such structures. The physical effects governing the light emission profile and the possibilities of tailoring it as well as the mechanisms governing the coherence are elucidated. The major design strategies pursued to optimize the single-photon source performance and the remaining challenges are reviewed.
I E E E Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 2013, Vol 19, Issue 5