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Title: Environmental coupling in a quantum dot as a resource for quantum optics and spin control
Author: Hansom, Jack
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 1231
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2015
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A single spin confined to a semiconductor quantum dot is a system of significant interest for quantum information science, as a potential optically-addressable qubit. In many respects, a quantum dot behaves like a single atom with high quality single photon emission. By controlling the light-matter coupling in such a system, it is possible to generate highly non-classical states of light and coherently control a single spin confined to the quantum dot. A departure from the ideal atomic picture appears once we consider the mesoscopic environment with which the quantum dot interacts. Charge fluctuations in the surroundings of the quantum dot affect the photon emission frequency leading to inhomogeneous broadening. Further broadening of the emission is caused by coupling to phonon modes of the host semiconductor material. Finally, coupling between the spin of a confined electron and a large bath of nuclear spins residing in the quantum dot leads to fast dephasing of the electron spin. All of these effects are typically considered detrimental to the potential use of quantum dots for quantum technologies. In this thesis, we develop the environmental coupling of a negatively charged quantum dot as a resource for quantum optics and spin control. First, the phonon-assisted fluorescence is shown to be a useful independent channel for feedback stabilisation of the quantum dot emission frequency, without requiring a measurement of the indistinguishable zero-phonon line. With stabilisation, the corresponding frequency broadening is drastically improved, and the sub-Hz frequency fluctuations are no longer resolved. Next, we show low-power resonance fluorescence emission spectra of the negatively charged trion transition. In the low power regime of resonance fluorescence, the excited state is not populated and most of the emission is coherent. In addition to elastic Rayleigh scattering, we observe coherent Raman sidebands, linked to an effective magnetic field created by the hyperfine interaction, the Overhauser field. This fluctuating effective field lifts the electron spin degeneracy in the absence of a magnetic field, and dictates the optical selection rules of the trion system. These spectra therefore allow for a measurement of the time-averaged distributions of in-plane and out-of-plane Overhauser field components. In the final part of the thesis, we use this hyperfine-generated ? -scheme to optically create electron spin superpositions through two-colour excitation and coherent population trapping. We then show that rapid shifts in the relative phase of the lasers lead to initialisation of the electron spin into a rotated dark state.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Quantum Optics ; Quantum Dot ; Solid State Physics