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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics


Single-photon sources represent a fundamental building block for optical implementations of quantum information tasks ranging from basic tests of quantum physics to quantum communication and high-resolution quantum measurement. In this paper, in order to compare the effectiveness of different designs, we introduce a single-photon source performance index, based on the maximum probability of generating a single photon that still guarantees a given signal-to-noise ratio. We then investigate the performance of a multiplexed system based on asymmetric configuration of multiple heralded single-photon sources. The performance and scalability comparison with both currently existing multiple-source architectures and faint laser configurations reveals an advantage the proposed scheme offers in realistic scenarios. This analysis also provides insights on the potential of using such architectures for integrated implementation.