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Quantum dot-based Entangled-Light Emitting Diodes (E-LED) for quantum relays



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Varnava, Christiana 


Sources of entangled pairs of photons can be used for encoding signals in quantum-encrypted communications, allowing a sender, Alice, and a receiver, Bob, to exchange keys without the possibility of eavesdropping. In fact, any quantum information system would require single and entangled photons to serve as qubits. For this purpose, semiconductor quantum dots (QD) have been extensively studied for their ability to produce entangled light and function as single photon sources.
The quality of such sources is evaluated based on three criteria: high efficiency, small multi-photon probability, and quantum indistinguishability. In this work, a simple quantum dot-based LED (E-LED) was used as a quantum light source for on-demand emission, indicating the potential for use as quantum information devices. Limitations of the device include the fine-structure splitting of the quantum dot excitons, their coherence lengths and charge carrier interactions in the structure.
The quantum dot-based light emitting diode was initially shown to operate in pulsed mode under AC bias frequencies of up to several hundreds of MHz, without compromising the quality of emission. In a Hong-ou-Mandel interference type experiment, the quantum dot photons were shown to interfere with dissimilar photons from a laser, achieving high two-photon interference (TPI) visibilities. Quantum entanglement from a QD photon pair was also measured in pulsed mode, where the QD-based entangled-LED (E-LED) was electrically injected at a frequency of 203 MHz. After verifying indistinguishability and good entanglement properties from the QD photons under the above conditions, a quantum relay over 1km of fibre was demonstrated, using input qubits from a laser source. The average relay fidelity was high enough to allow for error correction for this BB84-type scheme. To improve the properties of the QD emission, an E-LED was developed based on droplet epitaxy (D-E) QDs, using a different QD growth technique. The relevant chapter outlines the process of QD growth and finally demonstration of quantum entanglement from an electrically injected diode, yielding improvements compared to previous E-LED devices.
For the same reason, an alternative method of E-LED operation based on resonant two-photon excitation of the QD was explored. Analysis of Rabi oscillations in a quantum dot with a bound exciton state demonstrated coupling of the ground state and the biexciton state by the external oscillating field of a laser, therefore allowing the transition between the two states. The results include a considerable improvement in the coherence length of the QD emission, which is crucial for future quantum network applications. We believe that extending this research can find application in quantum cryptography and in realising the interface of a quantum network, based on semiconductor nanotechnology.





Penty, Richard Vincent
Shields, Andrew


Quantum Dot, Entangled-LED, Quantum Relay


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge