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Generating single photons at gigahertz modulation-speed using electrically controlled quantum dot microlenses

Schlehahn, Alexander; Schmidt, Ronny; Hopfmann, C.; Schulze, Jan-Hindrik; Strittmatter, André; Heindel, Tobias; Gantz, Liron; Schmidgall, Emma R.; Gershoni, David; Reitzenstein, Stephan

AG Optoelektronik und Quantenbauelemente

We report on the generation of single-photon pulse trains at a repetition rate of up to 1 GHz. We achieve this speed by modulating the external voltage applied on an electrically contacted quantum dot microlens, which is optically excited by a continuous-wave laser. By modulating the photoluminescence of the quantum dot microlens using a square-wave voltage, single-photon emission is triggered with a response time as short as (281 ± 19) ps, being 6 times faster than the radiative lifetime of (1.75 ± 0.02) ns. This large reduction in the characteristic emission time is enabled by a rapid capacitive gating of emission from the quantum dot, which is placed in the intrinsic region of a p-i-n-junction biased below the onset of electroluminescence. Here, since our circuit acts as a rectifying differentiator, the rising edge of the applied voltage pulses triggers the emission of single photons from the optically excited quantum dot. The non-classical nature of the photon pulse train generated at GHz-speed is proven by intensity autocorrelation measurements with g(2)(0) = 0.3 ± 0.1. Our results combine optical excitation with fast electrical gating and thus show promise for the generation of indistinguishable single photons at rates exceeding the limitations set by the intrinsic radiative lifetime.
  • 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 Appl. Phys. Lett. 108, 021104 (2016) and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4939658.