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Operating single quantum emitters with a compact Stirling cryocooler

Schlehahn, Alexander; Krüger, L.; Gschrey, Manuel; Schulze, Jan-Hindrik; Rodt, Sven; Strittmatter, André; Heindel, Tobias; Reitzenstein, Stephan

The development of an easy-to-operate light source emitting single photons has become a major driving force in the emerging field of quantum information technology. Here, we report on the application of a compact and user-friendly Stirling cryocooler in the field of nanophotonics. The Stirling cryocooler is used to operate a single quantum emitter constituted of a semiconductor quantum dot (QD) at a base temperature below 30 K. Proper vibration decoupling of the cryocooler and its surrounding enables free-space micro-photoluminescence spectroscopy to identify and analyze different charge-carrier states within a single quantum dot. As an exemplary application in quantum optics, we perform a Hanbury-Brown and Twiss experiment demonstrating a strong suppression of multi-photon emission events with g(2)(0) < 0.04 from this Stirling-cooled single quantum emitter under continuous wave excitation. Comparative experiments performed on the same quantum dot in a liquid helium (LHe)-flow cryostat show almost identical values of g(2)(0) for both configurations at a given temperature. The results of this proof of principle experiment demonstrate that low-vibration Stirling cryocoolers that have so far been considered exotic to the field of nanophotonics are an attractive alternative to expensive closed-cycle cryostats or LHe-flow cryostats, which could pave the way for the development of high-quality table-top non-classical light sources.
Published in: Review of Scientific Instruments, 10.1063/1.4906548, American Institute of Physics (AIP)
  • This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in Review of Scientific Instruments 86, 013113 (2015) and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4906548.