Dynamic Acoustic Control of Semiconductor Quantum Dot-Based Devices for Quantum Light Generation

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Villa Piñeros, Bruno  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1534-803X

This thesis presents work on a series of devices for the generation of photonic quantum states based on self-assembled InAs quantum dots, which are among the most technologically mature candidates for practical quantum photonic applications due to their high internal quantum efficiency, narrow linewidth, tunability and straightforward integration with photonic and electric components. The primary results presented concern sources of multi-photon entangled states and single-photon sources with high repetition rate, both of which are crucial components for emerging photonic quantum technologies. First, we propose a scheme for the sequential generation of entangled photon chains by resonant scattering of a laser field on a single charged particle in a cavity-enhanced quantum dot. The charge has an associated spin that can determine the time bin of a photon, allowing for information encoding in this degree of freedom. We demonstrate coherent operations on this spin and realize a proof-of-principle experiment of the proposed scheme by showing that the time bin of a single-photon is dependent on the measured state of the trapped spin. The second main avenue of work investigates the effects of a surface acoustic wave, a mechanical displacement wave confined to the surface of a substrate, on the optical properties of quantum dots. In particular, we exploit the dynamic acoustically-induced tuning of the emission energy to modulate the Purcell effect in a pillar microcavity. Under resonant optical excitation we demonstrate the conversion of the continuous wave laser into a pulsed single-photon stream inheriting the acoustic frequency of 1 GHz as the repetition rate. High resolution spectroscopy reveals the presence of narrow sidebands in the emission spectrum, whose relative intensity can be controlled by the acoustic power and laser detuning. Furthermore, we develop a platform for analogous in-plane experiments by transferring GaAs membranes hosting quantum dots onto LiNbO3 substrates and patterning them into whispering gallery mode optical resonators. In addition to Purcell enhancement and acoustic tuning of the emission, the devices exhibit strong localized mechanical resonances. Finally, we perform initial experiments on the effects of a surface acoustic wave on the spin of a charge trapped in a quantum dot. We integrate acoustic transducers with charge-tunable diodes, where the charge state of the dot can be precisely controlled by an applied bias voltage, and demonstrate the frustration of optical spin pumping by the acoustic wave.

Ford, Christopher J. B.
Shileds, Andrew J.
quantum dot, saw, surface acoustic wave, single-photon, multi-photon, photonic cavity
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 642688.