Laser oscillation in a strongly coupled single-quantum-dot–nanocavity system

Abstract

The strong coupling of photons and matter1 in semiconductor nanocavities has been a test bed for cavity quantum electrodynamics2,3 (QED). Vacuum Rabi oscillation4,5,6,7,8—the coherent exchange of a single quantum between a single quantum dot (SQD) and an optical cavity—and highly efficient cavity-QED lasers9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19 have both been reported. The coexistence of vacuum Rabi oscillation and laser oscillation seems to be contradictory, but it has recently been predicted theoretically that the strong-coupling effect could be sustained in laser oscillation20. Here, we demonstrate the onset of lasing in the strong-coupling regime in an SQD–cavity system. A high-quality semiconductor optical nanocavity and strong SQD–field coupling enabled the onset of lasing while maintaining the fragile coherent exchange of quanta.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: PhC structure and optical characteristics.
Figure 2: Experimental and computed photoluminescence spectra at various pump powers.
Figure 3: Analyses of the experimental and computed photoluminescence spectra.
Figure 4: Mean cavity photon number Nph,g(2)(0) and photoluminescence spectra in lasing and strong-coupling regimes.

References

  1. 1

    Purcell, E. M. Spontaneous emission probabilities at radio frequencies. Phys. Rev. 69, 681 (1946).

  2. 2

    Englund, D. et al. Controlling cavity reflectivity with a single quantum dot. Nature 450, 857–861 (2007).

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

    Reithmaier, J. P. et al. Strong coupling in a single quantum dot-semiconductor microcavity system. Nature 432, 197–200 (2004).

  5. 5

    Yoshie, T. et al. Vacuum Rabi splitting with a single quantum dot in a photonic crystal nanocavity. Nature 432, 200–203 (2004).

  6. 6

    Peter, E. et al. Exciton–photon strong-coupling regime for a single quantum dot embedded in a microcavity. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 067401 (2005).

  7. 7

    Hennessy, K. et al. Quantum nature of a strongly coupled single quantum dot–cavity system. Nature 445, 896–899 (2007).

  8. 8

    Englund, D. et al. Coherent excitation of a strongly coupled quantum dot–cavity system. Preprint at <http://arxiv.org/abs/0902.2428> (2009).

  9. 9

    Xie, Z. G. et al. Influence of a single quantum dot state on the characteristics of a microdisk laser. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 117401 (2007).

  10. 10

    Reitzenstein, S. et al. Single quantum dot controlled lasing effects in high-Q micropillar cavities. Opt. Express 16, 4848–4857 (2008).

  11. 11

    Vučković, J., Painter, O., Xu, Y., Yariv, A. & Scherer, A. Finite-difference time-domain calculation of the spontaneous emission coupling factor in optical microcavities. IEEE J. Quant. Electron. 35, 1168–1175 (1999).

  12. 12

    Painter, O. et al. Two-dimensional photonic band-gap defect mode laser. Science 284, 1819–1821 (1999).

  13. 13

    Park, H.-G. et al. Nondegenerate monopole-mode two-dimensional photonic band gap laser. Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 3032–3034 (2001).

  14. 14

    Strauf, S. et al. Self-tuned quantum dot gain in photonic crystal lasers. Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 127404 (2006).

  15. 15

    Nomura, M. et al. Room temperature continuous-wave lasing in photonic crystal nanocavity. Opt. Express 14, 6308–6315 (2006).

  16. 16

    Nozaki, K., Kita, S. & Baba, T. Room temperature continuous wave operation and controlled spontaneous emission in ultrasmall photonic crystal nanolaser. Opt. Express 15, 7506–7514 (2007).

  17. 17

    Nomura, M. et al. Temporal coherence of a photonic crystal nanocavity laser with high spontaneous emission coupling factor. Phys. Rev. B 75, 195313 (2007).

  18. 18

    Ulrich, S. M. et al. Photon statistics of semiconductor microcavity lasers. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 043906 (2007).

  19. 19

    Nomura, M., Kumagai, N., Iwamoto, S., Ota, Y. & Arakawa, Y. Photonic crystal nanocavity laser with a single quantum dot gain. Opt. Express 17, 15975–15982 (2009).

  20. 20

    Valle, E. D., Laussy, F. P. & Tejedor, C. Luminescence spectra of quantum dots in microcavities. II. Fermions. Phys. Rev. B 79, 235326 (2009).

  21. 21

    Vahala, K. J. Optical microcavities. Nature 424, 839–846 (2003).

  22. 22

    Joannopoulos, J. D., Meade, R. D. & Winn, J. N. Photonic Crystals (Princeton Univ. Press, 1995).

  23. 23

    Akahane, Y., Asano, T., Song, B.-S. & Noda, S. Fine-tuned high-Q photonic-crystal nanocavity. Opt. Express 13, 1202–1214 (2005).

  24. 24

    Rice, P. R. & Carmichael, H. J. Photon statistics of a cavity-QED laser: A comment on the laser-phase-transition analogy. Phys. Rev. A 50, 4318–4329 (1994).

  25. 25

    Borri, P. et al. Ultralong dephasing time in InGaAs quantum dots. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 157401 (2001).

  26. 26

    Laussy, F. P., Valle, E. D. & Tejedor, C. Strong coupling of quantum dots in microcavities. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 083601 (2008).

  27. 27

    Laucht, A. et al. Dephasing of quantum dot exciton polaritons in electrically tunable nanocavities. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 087405 (2009).

  28. 28

    Bjork, G., Karlsson, A. & Yamamoto, Y. Definition of a laser threshold. Phys. Rev. A 50, 1675–1680 (1994).

  29. 29

    McKeever, J., Boca, A., Boozer, A. D., Buck, J. R. & Kimble, H. J. Experimental realization of a one-atom laser in the regime of strong coupling. Nature 425, 268–271 (2003).

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank S. Ishida, M. Shirane, S. Ohkouchi, Y. Igarashi, A. Tandaechanurat, K. Watanabe, T. Nakaoka, S. Kako and K. Aoki for their technical support and fruitful discussions. This research was supported by the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology and by KAKENHI 20760030, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

Author information

M.N. processed the samples, carried out the experiments, the simulations and data analyses. N.K. fabricated the semiconductor wafer. S.I. administrated the experiments. Y.O. assisted M.N.’s experiments. Y.A. and M.N. conceived and designed the project. M.N., S.I. and Y.A. wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to discussion of the results.

Correspondence to M. Nomura or Y. Arakawa.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Information (PDF 325 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nomura, M., Kumagai, N., Iwamoto, S. et al. Laser oscillation in a strongly coupled single-quantum-dot–nanocavity system. Nature Phys 6, 279–283 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys1518

Download citation

Further reading