HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Matthew Rakher

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Quantum Optics with Quantum Dots

Feb. 16, 2010

The quantum mechanical nature of single atoms or molecules can be very difficult to measure in the laboratory. However, recent progress using atomic-like, solid-state systems has made such measurements more accessible. In particular, the semiconductor quantum dot (QD) has developed into a widely-used platform for conducting experiments at the intersection of quantum optics and condensed matter physics. Combined with nanofabrication techniques to create ultra-small optical cavities, QDs can be used to explore the coupling between a single emitter and a single cavity mode, called cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED). I will present experiments demonstrating several cavity QED effects with QDs such as the Purcell Effect, vacuum Rabi splitting, and low-threshold lasing. In addition, because the QD is already embedded in a semiconductor, we implement a diode structure to apply an external electric field across the quantum dot. Depending on the exact device configuration, we use the electric field to Stark shift the QD emission, load single carriers into the QD, or inject current into the QD. The addition of electrical control to such a solid-state cavity QED system holds great promise for implementation of quantum information protocols and novel measurements of trapped carriers.