Single photon counting, based on single photon sources and detectors, is a key ingredient for certain applications aiming at new quantum information technologies. Quantum cryptography, quantum radiometry, distributed quantum computing, as well as adjacent technologies such as biomedical and astronomical imaging, and low power classical communication also rely on single-photon technology. This paper reviews the present status of single photon sources and related counting measurement techniques, based on correlated (or heralded) photons in parametric down-conversion, and their possible impact on the above mentioned technologies, as well as an assessment for photon standards in the future.
The European Physical Journal: Applied Physics,
Vol. 41, no. 3 (Mar 2008), pp. 181-194