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The Challenge of Quickly Determining the Quality of a Single-Photon Source

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posted on 2023-07-08, 04:02 authored by David Jacob Kedziora, Anna Musiał, Wojciech Rudno-Rudziński, Bogdan Gabrys
Novel methods for rapidly estimating single-photon source (SPS) quality, e.g. of quantum dots, have been promoted in recent literature to address the expensive and time-consuming nature of experimental validation via intensity interferometry. However, the frequent lack of uncertainty discussions and reproducible details raises concerns about their reliability. This study investigates one such proposal on eight datasets obtained from an InGaAs/GaAs epitaxial quantum dot that emits at 1.3 {\mu}m and is excited by an 80 MHz laser. The study introduces a novel contribution by employing data augmentation, a machine learning technique, to supplement experimental data with bootstrapped samples. Analysis of the SPS quality metric, i.e. the probability of multi-photon emission events, as derived from efficient histogram fitting of the synthetic samples, reveals significant uncertainty contributed by stochastic variability in the Poisson processes that describe detection rates. Ignoring this source of error risks severe overconfidence in both early quality estimates and claims for state-of-the-art SPS devices. Additionally, this study finds that standard least-squares fitting is comparable to the studied counter-proposal, expanding averages show some promise for early estimation, and reducing background counts improves fitting accuracy but does not address the Poisson-process variability. Ultimately, data augmentation demonstrates its value in supplementing physical experiments; its benefit here is to emphasise the need for a cautious assessment of SPS quality.

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