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Quentin Mermillod

Nonlinear coherent spectroscopy of single quantum dots in photonic nanostructures

Published on 18 May 2016

Thesis presented May 18, 2016

Decoherence in solids is a major issue towards the realization of a quantum processor based on semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) as optically active qubits. Measuring and controlling the optical coherence of such qubits is required in their fundamental studies, paving a way for technological applications. However, their nanometer size combined to the sub-nanosecond lifetime of their optical transitions, render experimental measurements very challenging. This thesis presents a detailed study of the dephasing mechanisms and the coherent coupling of excitonic complexes strongly confined in individual InAs/GaAs QDs. To achieve these measurements, I developed an heterodyne four-wave mixing experiment sensitive to the amplitude and phase of the electric field emitted by a single QD. With this setup one can measure the lifetime and the coherence time of a single exciton, even in the presence of inhomogeneous broadening. To increase the light-matter interaction and the extraction efficiency of the signal, the use of photonic nanostructures has proved to be necessary. The optical sensitivity of the setup allowed me to study in detail the mechanisms of exciton-phonon interaction, which is an important source of decoherence in solids, like the acoustic polaron formation, the quadratic coupling to acoustic phonons, and the excitation-induced dephasing. Furthermore, by inferring two-dimensional spectra, I demonstrate coherent couplings between various exciton complexes. Finally, I highlight a new multi-wave mixing protocol to control the coherent response of a single exciton, and I propose to employ it to control long-range radiative coupling between two QDs, which is a fundamental step towards achieving a quantum logic gate in solids.

Semiconductors, Quantum Dots, Excitons, Phonons, Coherence, Spectroscopy, Non-linear, Four Wave Mixing, Photonic Nanostructures

On-line thesis.