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Title: Telecom wavelength quantum devices
Author: Felle, Martin Connor Patrick
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 3197
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are well established as sub-Poissonian sources of entangled photon pairs. To improve the utility of a QD light source, it would be advantageous to extend their emission further into the near infrared, into the low absorption wavelength windows utilised in long-haul optical telecommunication. Initial experiments succeeded in interfering O-band (1260—1360 nm) photons from an InAs/GaAs QD with dissimilar photons from a laser, an important mechanism for quantum teleportation. Interference visibilities as high as 60 ± 6 % were recorded, surpassing the 50 % threshold imposed by classical electrodynamics. Later, polarisation-entanglement of a similar QD was observed, with pairs of telecom-wavelength photons from the radiative cascade of the biexciton state exhibiting fidelities of 92.0 ± 0.2 % to the Bell state. Subsequently, an O-band telecom-wavelength quantum relay was realised. Again using an InAs/GaAs QD device, this represents the first implementation of a sub-Poissonian telecom-wavelength quantum relay, to the best knowledge of the author. The relay proved capable of implementing the famous four-state BB84 protocol, with a mean teleportation fidelity as high as 94.5 ± 2.2 %, which would contribute 0.385 secure bits per teleported qubit. After characterisation by way of quantum process tomography, the performance of the relay was also evaluated to be capable of implementing a six-state QKD protocol. In an effort to further extend the emitted light from a QD into the telecom C-band (1530—1565 nm), alternative material systems were investigated. InAs QDs on a substrate of InP were shown to emit much more readily in the fibre-telecom O- and C-bands than their InAs/GaAs counterparts, largely due to the reduced lattice mismatch between the QD and substrate for InAs/InP (~3 %) compared to InAs/GaAs (~7 %). Additionally, to minimize the fine structure splitting (FSS) of the exciton level, which deteriorates the observed polarisation-entanglement, a new mode of dot growth was investigated. Known as droplet epitaxy (D-E), QDs grown in this mode showed a fourfold reduction in the FSS compared to dots grown in the Stranski-Krastanow mode. This improvement would allow observation of polarisation-entanglement in the telecom C-band. In subsequent work performed by colleagues at the Toshiba Cambridge Research Labs, these D-E QDs were embedded in a p-i-n doped optical cavity, processed with electrical contacts, and found to emit entangled pairs of photons under electrical excitation. The work of this thesis provides considerable technological advances to the field of entangled-light sources, that in the near future may allow for deterministic quantum repeaters operating at megahertz rates, and in the further future could facilitate the distribution of coherent multipartite states across a distributed quantum network.
Supervisor: Penty, Richard Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Quantum Dots ; Teleportation ; Quantum Relay ; Semiconductor ; III-V ; InAs ; InP ; GaAs ; Indium phosphide ; Indium Arsenide ; Gallium Arsenide ; Two-photon interference ; Telecom ; Telecommunication ; wavelength ; telecom wavelength ; telecommunication wavelength ; 1300 nm ; 1550 nm ; O band ; C band ; entanglement ; LED ; entangled LED