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Observation of two-photon emission from semiconductors

Nature Photonics volume 2, pages 238241 (2008) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Two-photon emission is a process in which electron transition between quantum levels occurs through the simultaneous emission of two photons. This phenomenon is important for astrophysics and atomic physics1,2, and semiconductor two-photon emission was recently proposed as a compact source of entangled photons, essential for practical quantum information processing3,4,5, and three orders of magnitude more efficient6 than the existing down-conversion schemes. Two-photon absorption in semiconductors has been extensively investigated7,8,9,10,11; however, spontaneous semiconductor two-photon emission has not been observed, nor has it been fully analysed theoretically so far. We report the first experimental observations of two-photon emission from semiconductors and develop a corresponding theory. Spontaneous two-photon emission is demonstrated in optically pumped bulk GaAs and in electrically driven GaInP/AlGaInP quantum wells. Singly stimulated two-photon emission measurements demonstrate the theoretically predicted two-photon optical gain in semiconductors12,13,14,15—a necessary ingredient for any realizations of future two-photon semiconductor lasers. A photon-coincidence experiment is presented to validate the simultaneity of the electrically driven GaInP/AlGaInP two-photon emission, limited only by the detector's temporal resolution.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel

    • Alex Hayat
    • , Pavel Ginzburg
    •  & Meir Orenstein

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Correspondence to Alex Hayat.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2008.28

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