24 research outputs found

    An artificial rubidium atom

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    Harnessing quantum mechanics to revolutionize various fields of established technology has fueled research activities in recent years. Especially the prospect of inherently secure quantum communication channels has become increasingly desirable to businesses, politicians and society as a whole to protect sensitive information. At heart, quantum communication relies on the distribution of entangled quantum states that make the communication impervious to eavesdroppers. Naturally single photons or photon pairs are an excellent choice for distributing entangled states at the speed-of-light through existing fiber-networks. One of the most promising quantum light sources constitute epitaxial quantum dots. The high oscillator strength renders them exceptionally bright, while still emitting nearly indistinguishable single photons with quantum efficiencies close to unity, an important prerequisite for high-fidelity photonic quantum applications. By carefully manufacturing the semiconductor heterostructure, the optical environment can be individually tailored, utilizing Purcell enhancement, by embedding the emitter in a semiconductor cavity or exploiting wave guiding properties in form of micropillars or nanowires to enhance the extraction efficiency. Inevitable optical attenuation in fiber networks however necessitates the overall communication channel length to be divided into subsections with nodes that can temporarily store the quantum information. Naturally this requires a quantum memory which can efficiently store the quantum state for a sufficiently long time and subsequently recreate the stored photon on demand. In this framework, atomic memories represent the established benchmark, unrivaled by quantum dots spin states which remain intrinsically limited by the decoherence-inducing interaction with the solid state environment. Combining the excellent single-photon source of a quantum dot with the superior coherence properties of alkali quantum memories in a hybrid system at each quantum node offers the best of both worlds, promising exponential speed-up of truly secure communication. This PhD thesis focuses on the requirements imposed on the quantum dot in such a hybrid quantum network and shows how these challenges can be overcome. The first part of the introduction aims to give a detailed overview on the underlying quantum communication protocol of a hybrid quantum network and how it fares against the more established DLCZ protocol. Next, single-photon sources, and quantum dots in particular, will be outlined and the growth mechanism and optical properties of epitaxial GaAs quantum dots discussed in detail. Lastly, to illustrate the framework in which a quantum dot can efficiently be paired with alkali atoms and to understand the challenges that arise, the mode of operation and attributes of the state-of-art broadband quantum memory will be summarized in chapter 2. The third chapter investigates the optical properties of an epitaxial GaAs quantum dot spectrally matched to rubidium. By means of strain-tuning, the quantum dot can address all hyperfine transitions of the rubidium D2 line and a first interaction with atomic vapors is shown in a transmission measurement. In conjunction with other optical measurements, true Fourier-limited emission of single photons is demonstrated. Furthermore, we establish a possible route to overcome the bandwidth mismatch of the two systems in form of the coherent-scattering regime. While this coherent-scattering regime offers quantum dot single-photons with sub-natural bandwidths, in form of elastically scattered single photons that predominately retain the small linewidth of the excitation laser, the emission is highly probabilistic and relies on continuous-wave excitation or weak, resonant laser pulses of durations exceeding the exciton lifetime. The fourth chapter demonstrates the generation of true on-demand single photons with tailored temporal waveform envelopes between 14 and 245 ns, overcoming the temporal limitations imposed by the exciton two-level system. The photonic bandwidth is reduced by almost one order of magnitude. In the following, the decay dynamics of a positively charged exciton in an GaAs quantum dot will be investigated by time-resolved photolumincescence and resonance fluorescence measurements (chapter 5). In Chapter 6 the optical properties of GaAs quantum dots in 500 nm thick membranes are characterized. Finally, an outlook into future developments and the solutions to remaining challenges will be presented

    Simple atomic quantum memory suitable for semiconductor quantum dot single photons

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    Quantum memories matched to single photon sources will form an important cornerstone of future quantum network technology. We demonstrate such a memory in warm Rb vapor with on-demand storage and retrieval, based on electromagnetically induced transparency. With an acceptance bandwidth of ÎŽf\delta f = 0.66~GHz the memory is suitable for single photons emitted by semiconductor quantum dots. In this regime, vapor cell memories offer an excellent compromise between storage efficiency, storage time, noise level, and experimental complexity, and atomic collisions have negligible influence on the optical coherences. Operation of the memory is demonstrated using attenuated laser pulses on the single photon level. For 50 ns storage time we measure ηe2e50ns=3.4(3)%\eta_{\textrm{e2e}}^{\textrm{50ns}} = 3.4(3)\% \emph{end-to-end efficiency} of the fiber-coupled memory, with an \emph{total intrinsic efficiency} ηint=17(3)%\eta_{\textrm{int}} = 17(3)\%. Straightforward technological improvements can boost the end-to-end-efficiency to ηe2e≈35%\eta_{\textrm{e2e}} \approx 35\%; beyond that increasing the optical depth and exploiting the Zeeman substructure of the atoms will allow such a memory to approach near unity efficiency. In the present memory, the unconditional readout noise level of 9⋅10−39\cdot 10^{-3} photons is dominated by atomic fluorescence, and for input pulses containing on average ÎŒ1=0.27(4)\mu_{1}=0.27(4) photons the signal to noise level would be unity

    An artificial Rb atom in a semiconductor with lifetime-limited linewidth

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    We report results important for the creation of a best-of-both-worlds quantum hybrid system consisting of a solid-state source of single photons and an atomic ensemble as quantum memory. We generate single photons from a GaAs quantum dot (QD) frequency-matched to the Rb D2-transitions and then use the Rb transitions to analyze spectrally the quantum dot photons. We demonstrate lifetime-limited QD linewidths (1.48 GHz) with both resonant and non-resonant excitation. The QD resonance fluorescence in the low power regime is dominated by Rayleigh scattering, a route to match quantum dot and Rb atom linewidths and to shape the temporal wave packet of the QD photons. Noise in the solid-state environment is relatively benign: there is a blinking of the resonance fluorescence at MHz rates but negligible upper state dephasing of the QD transition. We therefore establish a close-to-ideal solid-state source of single photons at a key wavelength for quantum technologies

    Correlations between Optical Properties and Voronoi-Cell Area of Quantum Dots

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    A semiconductor quantum dot (QD) can generate highly indistinguishable single-photons at a high rate. For application in quantum communication and integration in hybrid systems, control of the QD optical properties is essential. Understanding the connection between the optical properties of a QD and the growth process is therefore important. Here, we show for GaAs QDs, grown by infilling droplet-etched nano-holes, that the emission wavelength, the neutral-to-charged exciton splitting, and the diamagnetic shift are strongly correlated with the capture zone-area, an important concept from nucleation theory. We show that the capture-zone model applies to the growth of this system even in the limit of a low QD-density in which atoms diffuse over Ό\mum-distances. The strong correlations between the various QD parameters facilitate preselection of QDs for applications with specific requirements on the QD properties; they also suggest that a spectrally narrowed QD distribution will result if QD growth on a regular lattice can be achieved

    Large-Range Frequency Tuning of a Narrow-Linewidth Quantum Emitter

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    A hybrid system of a semiconductor quantum dot single photon source and a rubidium quantum memory represents a promising architecture for future photonic quantum repeaters. One of the key challenges lies in matching the emission frequency of quantum dots with the transition frequency of rubidium atoms while preserving the relevant emission properties. Here, we demonstrate the bidirectional frequency-tuning of the emission from a narrow-linewidth (close-to-transform-limited) quantum dot. The frequency tuning is based on a piezoelectric strain-amplification device, which can apply significant stress to thick bulk samples. The induced strain shifts the emission frequency of the quantum dot over a total range of 1.15 THz1.15\ \text{THz}, about three orders of magnitude larger than its linewidth. Throughout the whole tuning process, both the spectral properties of the quantum dot and its single-photon emission characteristics are preserved. Our results show that external stress can be used as a promising tool for reversible frequency tuning of high-quality quantum dots and pave the wave towards the realisation of a quantum dot -- rubidium atoms interface for quantum networking.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figure

    On-demand semiconductor source of 780 nm single photons with controlled temporal wave packets

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    We report on a fast, bandwidth-tunable single-photon source based on an epitaxial GaAs quantum dot. Exploiting spontaneous spin-flip Raman transitions, single photons at 780 nm are generated on demand with tailored temporal profiles of durations exceeding the intrinsic quantum dot lifetime by up to three orders of magnitude. Second-order correlation measurements show a low multiphoton emission probability [g2(0)∌0.10–0.15] at a generation rate up to 10 MHz. We observe Raman photons with linewidths as low as 200 MHz, which is narrow compared to the 1.1-GHz linewidth measured in resonance fluorescence. The generation of such narrow-band single photons with controlled temporal shapes at the rubidium wavelength is a crucial step towards the development of an optimized hybrid semiconductor-atom interface

    An atomic memory suitable for semiconductor quantum dot single photons

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    Summary form only given. Quantum networks consist of many quantum memory nodes that are interconnected via photonic links, transporting single photons carrying quantum information. In the future, such quantum networks may enable: high-speed quantum cryptography for unconditionally secure communication; large-scale quantum computers; and quantum simulators that will allow for exponential speed-up in solving specific complex problems. A promising route towards functional quantum network nodes is the heterogeneous approach [1], where different and separately optimized physical systems are used for single photon generation and storage. For example semiconductor quantum dots may be used as efficient, fast and deterministic single photon sources, while atomic ensembles allow for efficient storage of these photons.We demonstrate a photonic memory in warm Rb vapour with on-demand storage and retrieval, based on electromagnetic induced transparency (EIT). The memory is suitable for storing single photons emitted by a GaAs droplet quantum dots [2] embedded into a state-of-the-art photonic structures [3]. With our experiments we close the gap between low speed quantum memories with acceptance bandwidth well below 100 MHz and ultra-high speed memories with acceptance bandwidth above 1 GHz. We find that in this intermediate regime vapour cell memories offer an excellent compromise between storage efficiency, storage time and experimental complexity

    How Developers Acquire FLOSS Skills

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    Part 1: Open Source Software EngineeringInternational audienceWith the increasing prominence of open collaboration as found in free/libre/open source software projects and other joint production communities, potential participants need to acquire skills. How these skills are learned has received little research attention. This article presents a large-scale survey (5,309 valid responses) in which users and developers of the beta release of a popular file download application were asked which learning styles were used to acquire technical and social skills. We find that the extent to which a person acquired the relevant skills through informal methods tends to be higher if the person is a free/libre/open source code contributor, while being a professional software developer does not have this effect. Additionally, younger participants proved more likely to make use of formal methods of learning. These insights will help individuals, commercial companies, educational institutions, governments and open collaborative projects decide how they promote learning