Single photon – Production

People :

Optics : Kuntheak Kheng, Jean-Philippe Poizat ; PhD Student : Samir Bounouar

Growth : Régis André, Edith Belley, Catherine Bougerol, Martien den Hertog, Serge Tatarenko ; Phd student : Miryam Elouneg-Jamroz

Production - Single photon from single semiconducting quantum dots

Quantum dots are nano-droplet (10 nm) of a small band gap semiconductor embedded in a larger band gap semiconductor. Charge carriers (electrons and holes) are trapped and confined in this well, and exhibit an atomic-like behaviour with discrete energy levels. These quantum dots can form spontaneously owing to strain forces between the two different semi-conductor crystals (Fig1a). Most of the samples are grown within the team in Grenoble. The radiative recombination of an electron-hole pair (exciton) in a single quantum dot produces a single photon. We have evidenced the biexciton-exciton cacsade on CdSe/ZnSe self-assembled quantum dots [1].

Quantum dots can also be fabricated within 10 nm diameter nanowires (Fig 1b). For more details on their growth have a look at the nanowire section. We have shown that CdSe quantum dots inserted in ZnSe nanowires could deliver single photon up to a temperature of T=220 K [2]. We have also performed a detailed spectroscopic study of these quantum dots using photon correlation spectroscopy[3], and investigate their spectral diffusion properties [4].


PhD thesis :

- Christophe Couteau (2005) : “Vers une source de photons uniques indiscernables a l’aide de boites quantiques semiconductrices II-VI. »

- Gregory Sallen (2009) : “Spectroscopie optique de boîtes quantiques de CdSe insérées dans des nanofils de ZnSe »


[1] C. Couteau, S. Moehl, F. Tinjod, J.M. Gérard, K. Kheng, H. Mariette, J. A. Gaj, R. Romestain, et J.P. Poizat, « Correlated Photon Emission from a Single II-VI Quantum Dot », Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 6251 (2004).

[2] A. Tribu, G. Sallen, T. Aichele, R. Andre, J.-Ph. Poizat, C. Bougerol, S. Tatarenko, and K. Kheng, “A high-temperature single-photon source from nanowire quantum dots”, Nanoletters 8, 4326 (2008)

[3] G. Sallen, A. Tribu, T. Aichele, R. André, L. Besombes, C. Bougerol, S. Tatarenko, K. Kheng, and J. Ph. Poizat, “Exciton dynamics of a single quantum dot embedded in a nanowire”, Phys. Rev B 80, 085310 (2009)

[4] G. Sallen, A. Tribu, T. Aichele, R. André, L. Besombes, C. Bougerol, M. Richard, S. Tatarenko, K. Kheng, and J. Ph. Poizat, “Subnanosecond spectral diffusion measurement using photon correlation”, Nature Photonics 4, 696 (2010) ; see also the News and Views by M. Orrit, Nature Photonics 4, 667 (2010)

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