Phonon scattering inhibits simultaneous near-unity efficiency and indistinguishability in semiconductor single-photon sources

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Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have recently emerged as a leading platform to generate highly indistinguishable photons efficiently, and this work addresses the timely question of how good these solid-state sources can ultimately be. We establish the crucial role of lattice relaxation in these systems in giving rise to trade-offs between indistinguishability and efficiency. We analyse the two source architectures most commonly employed: a QD embedded in a waveguide and a QD coupled to an optical cavity. For waveguides, we demonstrate that the broadband Purcell effect results in a simple inverse relationship, in which indistinguishability and efficiency cannot be simultaneously increased. For cavities, the frequency selectivity of the Purcell enhancement results in a more subtle trade-off, in which indistinguishability and efficiency can be increased simultaneously, although not arbitrarily, which limits a source with near-unity indistinguishability (> 99%) to an efficiency of approximately 96% for realistic parameters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)521-+
Publication statusPublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Semiconductor Devices and Integrated Circuits, Waveguides, Production Engineering, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Quantum Theory, High Energy Physics, Social Sciences, Economic and social effects, Efficiency, Particle beams, Photons, Quantum theory, Frequency selectivity, Indistinguishability, Inverse relationship, Lattice relaxation, Optical cavities, Purcell effect, Single-photon source, Solid-state sources, Semiconductor quantum dots

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