Coherent generation of non-classical light on a chip via photon-induced tunnelling and blockade


Quantum dots in photonic crystals are interesting because of their potential in quantum information processing1,2 and as a testbed for cavity quantum electrodynamics. Recent advances in controlling3,4 and coherent probing5,6 of such systems open the possibility of realizing quantum networks originally proposed for atomic systems7,8,9. Here, we demonstrate that non-classical states of light can be coherently generated using a quantum dot strongly coupled to a photonic crystal resonator10,11. We show that the capture of a single photon into the cavity affects the probability that a second photon is admitted. This probability drops when the probe is positioned at one of the two energy eigenstates corresponding to the vacuum Rabi splitting, a phenomenon known as photon blockade, the signature of which is photon antibunching12,13. In addition, we show that when the probe is positioned between the two eigenstates, the probability of admitting subsequent photons increases, resulting in photon bunching. We call this process photon-induced tunnelling. This system represents an ultimate limit for solid-state nonlinear optics at the single-photon level. Along with demonstrating the generation of non-classical photon states, we propose an implementation of a single-photon transistor14 in this system.

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Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the experimental set-up.
Figure 2: Theoretical analysis of the optical field reflected from the cavity.
Figure 3: Measurement of the second-order correlation () function for coherent laser pulses reflected from the photonic crystal cavity with a strongly coupled quantum dot.
Figure 4: Measured normalized second-order correlation function for different detunings between the probe and the anticrossing frequency.
Figure 5: Expected photon blockade effect for various parameters of the strongly coupled system.


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Financial support was provided by the MURI Center for Photonic Quantum Information Systems (ARO/IARPA Program), ONR Young Investigator Award, I.F. was supported by the NDSEG fellowship and D.E. was supported by the NSF and NDSEG fellowships. Part of the work was carried out at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility of NNIN supported by the National Science Foundation.

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Correspondence to Jelena Vučković.

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Faraon, A., Fushman, I., Englund, D. et al. Coherent generation of non-classical light on a chip via photon-induced tunnelling and blockade. Nature Phys 4, 859–863 (2008).

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