Single spins in self-assembled quantum dots

Abstract

Self-assembled quantum dots have excellent photonic properties. For instance, a single quantum dot is a high-brightness, narrow-linewidth source of single photons. Furthermore, the environment of a single quantum dot can be tailored relatively easily using semiconductor heterostructure and post-growth processing techniques, enabling electrical control of the quantum dot charge and control over the photonic modes with which the quantum dot interacts. A single electron or hole trapped inside a quantum dot has spintronics applications. Although the spin dephasing is rather rapid, a single spin can be manipulated using optical techniques on subnanosecond timescales. Optical experiments are also providing new insights into old issues, such as the central spin problem. This Review provides a snapshot of this active field, with some indications for the future. It covers the basic materials and optical properties of single quantum dots, techniques for initializing, manipulating and reading out single spin qubits, and the mechanisms that limit the electron-spin and hole-spin coherence.

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Figure 1: Photonics of a single self-assembled quantum dot at zero magnetic field.
Figure 2: Coulomb blockade of a single quantum dot.
Figure 3: Single spin physics and level diagrams.
Figure 4: Electron spin initialization and manipulation.
Figure 5: Ultrafast manipulation of a single electron spin.
Figure 6: Hyperfine interaction of an electron spin and a hole spin with the nuclear spins in the host material.
Figure 7: Single-shot spin readout.
Figure 8: Hole spin initialization and manipulation.

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Acknowledgements

Heartfelt thanks go to my two main collaborators K. Karrai and P. M. Petroff. R. J. W. thanks C. Kloeffel and A. Ludwig for reading the manuscript critically; A. Kuhlmann, J. Houel and A. Ludwig for providing unpublished data; and financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation and NCCR Quantum Science and Technology.

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Correspondence to Richard J. Warburton.

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Warburton, R. Single spins in self-assembled quantum dots. Nature Mater 12, 483–493 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3585

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