Few-photon Non-linearities in Nanophotonic Devices for Quantum Information Technology

Anders Nysteen

    Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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    In this thesis we investigate few-photon non-linearities in all-optical, on-chip circuits, and we discuss their possible applications in devices of interest for quantum information technology, such as conditional two-photon gates and single-photon sources. In order to propose efficient devices, it is crucial to fully understand the non-equilibrium dynamics of strongly interacting photons. Employing both numerical and analytical approaches we map out the full scattering dynamics for two photons scattering on a two-level emitter in a one-dimensional waveguide. The strongest non-linear interaction arise when the emitter is excited the most, which occurs for incoming photon pulses with a spectral bandwidth comparable to the emitter linewidth. For two identical, counter-propagating photons, the emitter works as a non-linear beam splitter, as the emitter induces strong directional correlations between the scattered photons. Even though the non-linearity also alters the pulse spectrum due to a four-wave mixing process, we demonstrate that input pulses with a Gaussian spectrum can be mapped to the output with up to 80 % fidelity. Using two identical two-level emitters, we propose a setup for a deterministic controlled-phase gate, which preserves the properties of the two incoming photons with almost 80 %, limited by spectral changes induced by the non-linearity and phase modulations upon scattering. Another setup for a controlled-phase operation is suggested with two coupled ring resonators exploiting a strong second-order material non-linearity. By dynamically trapping the first of two temporally separated photons in the non-linear resonator, the scattering of the second photon is altered. Due to the trapping, the undesired aforementioned non-linear effects are avoided, but the gate performance is now limited by the capturing process. Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are promising for realizing few-photon non-linearities in solid-state implementations, although coupling to phonon modes in the surrounding lattice have significant influence on the dynamics. By accounting for the commonly neglected asymmetry between the electron and hole wavefunction in the QD, we show how the phonon-assisted transition rate to a slightly detuned optical mode may be suppressed. This is achieved by properly matching the electrical carrier confinement with the deformation potential interaction, where the suppression only occurs in materials where the deformation potential interaction shifts the electron and hole bands in the same direction. We demonstrate also how the phonon-induced effects may be altered by placing the QD inside an infinite slab, where the confinement of the phonons is modified instead. For a slab thickness below ∼ 70 nm, the bulk description of the phonon modes may be insufficient. The QD decay rate may be strongly increased or decreased, depending on how the detuning between the QD and the optical mode matches the phonon modes in the slab.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
    Number of pages172
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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