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The resonance fluorescence of single semiconductor quantum dots for the generation of indistinguishable photons
Carole Diederichs (LPA)

Single semiconductor quantum dots, which are considered as two-level systems in the artificial atom model, are promising structures for the realization of integrated devices such as single photon sources for quantum information applications. However, contrary to genuine atoms, they are condensed matter systems which suffer from the coupling to their solid environment, leading to a degradation of the coherence of the emitted photons. One possibility to avoid this coupling, thereby improving the coherence of the photons until the one imposed by the radiative limit T2 = 2T1, is to perform strictly resonant excitation of a quantum dot at low temperature. Using an experimental setup that spatially decouples the excitation and detection paths, we showed that a fine control of the electrostatic environment related to the nanostructures residual doping remains a major challenge to answer the widely encountered problem of the inhibition of the resonance fluorescence of a quantum dot. Meanwhile, thanks to quantum optics experiments and high resolution optical spectroscopy, we demonstrated that the resonant Rayleigh scattering regime where quantum dots emit single photons with the laser coherence time, paves the way to the development of "ultra-coherent" sources of single photons with high degrees of indistinguishability. In this regime where the laser tailors the coherence of the photons and where the radiative limit becomes a secondary requirement, two photons emitted successively by the same quantum dot are indistinguishable on time scales never obtained before for a solid nano-emitter (up to ten nanoseconds, comparing to the carriers lifetime and decoherence time of about a hundred of picoseconds).