Indexed on: 15 May '02Published on: 15 May '02Published in: Physical review letters
Strong evidence of a single-photon tunneling effect, a direct analog of single-electron tunneling, has been obtained in the measurements of light tunneling through individual subwavelength pinholes in a gold film covered with a layer of polydiacetylene. The transmission of some pinholes reached saturation because of the optical nonlinearity of polydiacetylene at a very low light intensity of a few thousand photons per second. This result is explained theoretically in terms of a "photon blockade," similar to the Coulomb blockade phenomenon observed in single-electron tunneling experiments. Single-photon tunneling may find applications in the fields of quantum communication and information processing.