Journal article Open Access

Quantum Dots for Single- and Entangled-Photon Emitters

Bimberg, Dieter; Stock, Erik; Lochmann, Anatol; Schliwa, Andrei; Tofflinger, J. A.; Unrau, Waldemar; Munnix, M.; Rodt, Sven; Toropov, Aleksandr I.; Bakarov, Askhat; Haisler, Vladimir A.; Kalagin, Aleksandr K.

The efficient generation of polarized single or entangled photons is a crucial requirement for the implementation of quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. Self-organized semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are capable of emitting one polarized photon or an entangled photon pair at a time using appropriate electrical current injection. We realized a highly efficient single-photon source (SPS) based on well-established semiconductor technology: In a pin structure, a single electron and a single hole are funneled into a single InAs QD using a submicron AlOx current aperture. Efficient radiative recombination leads to emission of single polarized photons with an all-time record purity of the spectrum. Non-classicality of the emitted light without using additional spectral filtering is demonstrated. The out-coupling efficiency and the emission rate are increased by embedding the SPS into a micro-cavity. The design of the micro-cavity is based on detailed modeling to optimize its performance. The resulting resonant single-QD diode is driven at a repetition rate of 1 GHz, exhibiting a second-order correlation function of g(2)(0) = 0. Eventually, QDs grown on (111)-oriented substrates are proposed as a source of entangled photon pairs. Intrinsic symmetry-lowering effects leading to the splitting of the exciton bright states are shown to be absent for this substrate orientation. As a result, the XX rarr X rarr 0 recombination cascade of a QD can be used for the generation of entangled photons without further tuning of the fine-structure splitting via QD size and/or shape.

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