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Thibault Cremel

Toward an operationnal single photon source based on semiconductor nanowires

Published on 8 November 2016

Thesis presented November 08, 2016

The recent development of the quantum information theory focuses the interest of the scientific community on single-photon sources. Indeed, these sources can be used for instance for optical quantum computing or quantum cryptography to improve the quantum key distribution performances and avoid eavesdropping. Consequently, it is necessary to have reliable single-photon sources and for realistic applications, the challenge is to get a single-photon source operating up to room temperature. Our group recently demonstrated that by inserting a quantum dot of CdSe in a nanowire of ZnSe, single-photon emission could be obtained up to room temperature. Still, these nanowires had a low quantum yield and were not vertically oriented on the as-grown sample since they were grown along the (001) crystallographic orientation. The interest of vertically oriented nanowires is that they can be coupled to photonic structures to increase their photons collection and their growth is favored on (111)-oriented substrates. In this context, the aim of this PhD work is to develop the growth of vertically oriented ZnSe-CdSe nanowire quantum dots along the (111) crystallographic orientation by molecular beam epitaxy, to study their luminescence up to room temperature for single-photon sources applications, and to couple these nano-objects to photonic structures to increase the photons collection. To reach this goal, we divided this project in three steps. The first step focuses on the development of vertically oriented ZnSe nanowires, passivated with a semiconductor shell of ZnMgSe to enhance their luminescence. In a second step, we demonstrate the possibility to insert CdSe quantum dots in these ZnSe nanowires, using different growth conditions for the quantum dot. The influence of these growth conditions is studied with structural and composition analysis of these nano-objects. Optical studies as a function of the temperature show that these nanowires emit up to room temperature. Moreover, decay-time studies on single nanowire quantum dots reveal that these nanowires are robust and insensitive to non-radiative recombination channels up to 200 K. The third step of this work concerns the enhancement of the light collection from these nano-objects. First, we show that by changing the dielectric environment of the quantum dot, its decay-rate can be increased. Then, we show the possibility to create photonic wires by covering these nanowire quantum dots with a thick dielectric shell. In the light of microphotoluminescence experiments – which show that these photonic wires efficiently increase the photons collection – and simulations, we discuss the interest of the dipole orientation (parallel or perpendicular to the nanowire growth axis) in these structures.

Quantum optics, Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Molecular beam epitaxy, II-VI semiconductors, Single-Photons sources

On-line thesis.