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Charge noise and spin noise in a semiconductor quantum device


Improving the quantum coherence of solid-state systems that mimic two-level atoms, for instance spin qubits or single-photon emitters using semiconductor quantum dots, involves dealing with the noise inherent to the device. Charge noise results in a fluctuating electric field, spin noise in a fluctuating magnetic field at the location of the qubit, and both can lead to dephasing and decoherence of optical and spin states. We investigate noise in an ultrapure semiconductor device using a minimally invasive, ultrasensitive local probe: resonance fluorescence from a single quantum dot. We distinguish between charge noise and spin noise through a crucial difference in their optical signatures. Noise spectra for both electric and magnetic fields are derived from 0.1 Hz to 100 kHz. The charge noise dominates at low frequencies, spin noise at high frequencies. The noise falls rapidly with increasing frequency, allowing us to demonstrate transform-limited quantum-dot optical linewidths by operating the device above 50 kHz.

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Figure 1: RF on a single quantum dot.
Figure 2: RF noise.
Figure 3: Distinguishing between charge noise and spin noise.
Figure 4: Noise spectra of local electric and magnetic fields.
Figure 5: Noise and above-bandgap excitation.

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We acknowledge financial support from NCCR QSIT. We thank B. Coish, C. Kloeffel, D. Loss and S. Starosielec for helpful discussions; S. Martin and M. Steinacher for technical support. A.L., D.R. and A.D.W. acknowledge gratefully support from DFG SPP1285 and BMBF QuaHLRep 01BQ1035.

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A.V.K. and J.H. performed the experiments and data analysis with M.P. providing electronics and software expertise. A.L., D.R. and A.D.W. carried out the molecular beam epitaxy; L.G. and A.L. the sample processing. A.V.K. and R.J.W. took the lead in writing the paper. R.J.W. conceived, led and managed the entire project.

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Correspondence to Andreas V. Kuhlmann.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Kuhlmann, A., Houel, J., Ludwig, A. et al. Charge noise and spin noise in a semiconductor quantum device. Nature Phys 9, 570–575 (2013).

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