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IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS 1
Electrically Driven Quantum Dot Micropillar Light Sources
Stephan Reitzenstein, Tobias Heindel, Caroline Kistner, Ferdinand Albert, Tristan Braun, Caspar Hopfmann, Pawel Mrowinski, Matthias Lermer, Christian Schneider, Sven H¨ ﬂing, Member, IEEE, o Martin Kamp, and Alfred Forchel, Member, IEEE
Abstract—We report on light sources based on electrically pumped quantum dot (QD) micropillar cavities. The low-modevolume high-quality microstructures feature pronounced cavity quantum electrodynamics (cQED) effects that are exploited for the realization of efﬁcient single-photon sources and low-threshold microlasers. The compact and electrically driven devices are of special interest for applications in the ﬁeld of quantum communication. In particular, operated as electrically triggered singlephoton sources, the QD micropillars can act as building blocks for quantum key distribution and quantum repeaters. On the other hand, the electrically pumped microlasers with in-plane emission via whispering gallery modes or emission normal to the sample’s surface are predestinated for integrated light sources in future photonic networks. The devices are based on doped high-quality factor GaAs/AlAs microcavity structures with InGaAs QDs in the active layer. A lateral injection scheme leaves the upper facet of the micropillars free of any absorbing metal and allows for efﬁcient light output under electrical pumping of low-mode-volume micropillars with diameters between 1 and 20 μm. Due to cQED effects, triggered single-photon emission with high photon extraction efﬁciency up to 62% and a low multiphoton emission probability (g(2 ) (0) = 0.16) are realized for moderate-quality (Q) factor samples. The efﬁcient coupling of spontaneous emission into the lasing mode in high-Q micropillars results in ultralow laser threshold currents of less than 10 μA at cryogenic temperatures. Our paper demonstrates the high potential of electrically driven QD micropillars to act as integrated light sources in future communication systems. Index Terms—Quantum dots (QDs), lasing, microcavity, singlephoton emission.
I. INTRODUCTION UANTUM dot (QD) microcavities are very attractive structures for the realization of future light sources. The research in this ﬁeld is strongly motivated by the prospect of developing efﬁcient single-photon sources and sources of entangled photon pairs as building blocks for quantum communication and quantum information processing systems –. Moreover, these semiconductor structures represent highly efﬁcient lasers and even thresholdless single QD microlasers seem to be feasible –. The high potential of QD microcavities to act as nonclassical and efﬁcient light sources is strongly related to the 3-D carrier and photon conﬁnement in these structures. QDs have feature sizes on a length scale of the de Broglie wavelength so that quantum conﬁnement leads to a discrete energy spectrum of the localized carriers . Discrete energy levels ensure that QDs can be treated in good approximation as two-level quantum emitters in the framework of quantum optics. For this reason, they are often referred to as artiﬁcial atoms with excitation spectra and selection rules similar to real atoms . Due to their discrete energy levels, the QDs emit one and only one photon at a given time under suitable excitation conditions, which is the basis for semiconductor single-photon sources . In a similar way, 0-D photon conﬁnement on a length scale of the photon’s wavelength in high-quality microcavities results in a discretization of the photonic mode density and a strong enhancement of the electromagnetic ﬁeld at the antinodes of the conﬁned mode . When a quantum emitter is located at the antinode of a photon mode in a low-mode-volume microcavity, its spontaneous emission process will be altered by the dipole interaction with the quantized light ﬁeld. This interaction can be described in the framework of cavity quantum electrodynamics (cQED) that distinguishes between the weak coupling regime and the strong coupling regime . The latter is of particular interest for quantum information science as it represents a coherent coupling of the QD microcavity system , . On the other hand, in the weak coupling regime when dissipative losses dominate, the rate of spontaneous emission can be signiﬁcantly enhanced under spectral and spatial resonance between the quantum emitter and the optical mode of the microcavity . The underlying Purcell effect ensures that spontaneous emission of a QD is funneled effectively into the cavity mode on resonance. This is the basis for efﬁcient light sources such as single-photon sources and
Manuscript received November 26, 2010; revised January 6, 2011; accepted January 11, 2011. This work was supported in part by the German Ministry of Education and Research under Project “QPENS,” by the European Commission under Project “TREASURE,” by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under Project “Directional emission from electrically driven quantum dot micropillars,” and by the State of Bavaria. S. Reitzenstein, T. Heindel, C. Kistner, F. Albert, T. Braun, C. Hopfmann, M. Lermer, C. Schneider, S. H¨ ﬂing, M. Kamp, and A. Forchel are with the Deo partment of Technische Physik, University of W¨ rzburg, D-97074 W¨ rzburg, u u Germany (e-mail: email@example.com). P. Mrowinski is with the Department of Technische Physik, University of W¨ rzburg, D-97074 W¨ rzburg, Germany, and also with Wrocław University of u u Technology, Wrocław 50-370, Poland. Color versions of one or more of the ﬁgures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identiﬁer 10.1109/JSTQE.2011.2107504
1077-260X/$26.00 © 2011 IEEE
For instance. Finally. We also introduce the microelectroluminescence (μEL) test setup. the patterning of the micropillars. Within this approach. Free carrier absorption is minimized by lowering the doping concentration gradually from about 2 × 1019 cm−3 at the substrate and top parts of the DBRs down to 1018 cm−3 close to the central cavity layer where the light ﬁeld is maximal.. This paper is organized as follows. Then. The layout and the Q-factors of the planar microcavities are summarized in Table I. However. The microlasers are based on high Q-factor microcavities that provide low-threshold currents below 10 μA at low temperature. Such optically pumped micro. we will present low-threshold lasing from standard pillar modes and in-plane lasing from whispering gallery modes (WGMs) under electrical carrier injection. In an alternative approach. microlasers based on QD microcavities.and nanocavities are very suitable structures for the demonstration and investigation of light– matter interaction effects in the quantum limit. δ-doped layers were introduced at the nodes of the light ﬁeld. The coupling factor itself is given by β = FP /(FP + 1) and can reach values close to one in high Q-factor low-mode-volume Vm o de microcavities. electrical carrier injection into a photonic crystal membrane laser requires a complicated contact scheme. A statistical analysis of the QD emission lines revealed that about 50% of the QDs are negatively charged.e. TECHNOLOGY A. In contrast. In addition. The p-doped upper DBR is composed of 13 (MC1) and 23 (MC2) AlAs/GaAs mirror pairs. In case of MC1 that is designed for efﬁcient singlephoton emission. Here. In Section II. Moderate Q-factor microcavities were fabricated in order to achieve a high outcoupling efﬁciency for the single-photon sources. and the most popular approaches for the 0-D photon conﬁnement are photonic crystal membrane cavities. where the doping concentration of the AlAs layers is about a factor of 2 higher than that of the GaAs layers. i. Content is final as presented. Schematic view of (a) a single-photon source and (b) a microlaser based on electrically contacted QD micropillars. 2 IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS Fig. as well as strong coupling could be demonstrated in such devices . . . 1. we study the basic optical properties such as the quality factors of electrically driven micropillars. a record high outcoupling efﬁciency of 72% has been demonstrated for optically pumped photonic wires that exploit an adiabatic outcoupling of light . with the exception of pagination. Very advanced semiconductor nanotechnology is used to realize high-quality microcavities. This includes the growth of doped planar mirocavity samples.16 at pulsed electrical excitation and an extraction II. they show strongly directional emission normal to the sample’s surface and a high coupling efﬁciency into optical ﬁbers . a single low-density (nQD ≈ 5 × 109 cm−2 ) layer of In(Ga)As is integrated. Electrical carrier injection into the active layer is a known issue for microdisks on a narrow pedestal and photonic crystal membrane nanocavities. Doping of the DBR sections and the associated free carrier absorption introduces an additional loss channel in doped microcavities if compared to undoped cavities for which the main loss channels are intrinsic losses due to a ﬁnite reﬂectivity of the DBRs and material absorption by the QDs in the active layer . 1) that are of high interest with respect to compact and practical light sources. and micropillar cavities . The electrically driven devices show very low multiphoton emission probability expressed by g(2) (0) = 0. In Section V. we address the fabrication of electrically contacted QD micropillars. including a post below the central cavity . In Section III. Suitable doping of the structures and a ring-shaped upper contact of the micropillar allow for efﬁcient carrier injection into the QDs in the active layer. we conclude our work in Section VI. we will focus on advanced electrically pumped QD micropillar single-photon sources and microlasers (see Fig. The design was applied in order to suppress dark-state conﬁgurations that are known to limit the efﬁciency of single-photon sources based on neutral QDs . providing large Purcell factors FP ∝ Q/Vm o de . an n-type δ-doped layer is introduced 10 nm away from the QD layer to obtain predominantly negatively charged QDs.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. The GaAs substrate is followed by the n-doped lower distributed Bragg reﬂector (DBR) that consists of 26 (MC1) and 27 (MC2) pairs of alternating λ/4-thick AlAs and GaAs mirror pairs. the central one-λ-thick GaAs cavity is grown. the theoretical efﬁciency of both devices depends on the spontaneous emission coupling factor β that is deﬁned as the fraction of spontaneous emission coupled into the target cavity mode with respect to the total spontaneous emission . it is inevitable to realize electrically contacted systems that can act as compact and integrated light sources. Sample Growth The electrically pumped high-Q micropillar cavities are based on planar AlAs/GaAs microcavity structures with In(Ga)As QDs in the active layer. In addition. In fact. and the formation of the upper ring-shaped contact. with respect to possible applications. In the center of the intrinsic cavity layer. micropillar cavities are very suitable for electrical carrier injection and weak coupling. we were able to achieve a good balance between the relevant loss channels in electrically pumped high-Q micropillars. to increase the conductivity of the DBRs. Single-photon emission from electrically triggered devices will be discussed in Section IV. efﬁciency of 62%. both of which also suffer from poor heat sinking. microdisk cavities. at AlAs/GaAs interfaces. as will be detailed next. The samples were grown by molecular beam epitaxy on n-doped GaAs substrates.
Subsequent to the plasma etching of the pillars. C. Furthermore. (a) Cross-sectional view of planar microcavity structure.. or 0. For instance.4. a ringshaped Au p-contact is patterned in a lift-off process. ECR plasma etching results in very smooth and vertical sidewalls that are the basis for high-Q factor micropillars. Fig.3 μm after the plasma etching step. ensures an efﬁcient in. Sample Processing By following the growth of the microcavity samples. stateof-the-art semiconductor processing was employed in order to fabricate electrically pumped micropillar cavities. Surplus BCB is removed by a plasma treatment so that the BCB layer thickness equals the pillar height that is crucial for the subsequent processing of the ring-shaped top contact. Single-photon emission is veriﬁed by using a ﬁber-coupled Hanbury–Brown and Twiss (HBT) setup . As sketched in Fig. Content is final as presented.: ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN QUANTUM DOT MICROPILLAR LIGHT SOURCES 3 TABLE I LAYOUT AND Q-FACTORS OF PLANAR MICROCAVITIES B. micropillars with circular cross section and diameters between 1 and 20 μm are patterned by electron–beam lithography and electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) reactive ion etching using a 450-nm-thick BaF2 /Cr etching mask. in a second electron–beam lithography step. Fig. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images illustrating the sample processing. Test Setup The electrically contacted QD micropillars are studied at low temperature (10–130 K) by means of high-resolution μEL spectroscopy. with the exception of pagination. (b) Micropillar with a diameter of 1. This air gap is ﬁlled by the contact metal and allows for lateral current injection into the highly p-doped top part of the micropillar. we take advantage of the air gap that evolves during the planarization between the BCB and the conically shaped upper part of the micropillar. (d) Top view of a fully processed device with the ring-shaped p-contact. It includes a ﬁber-coupled HBT conﬁguration and a Michelson interferometer. and as a result. The setup allows for a highresolution (spectrally and spatially) study of the emission properties of electrically and optically pumped QD micropillars. Fig. the reduced refractive index contrast reduces the splitting between the fundamental and the next higher lateral mode of 4-μm-diameter micropillars embedded in BCB by about 5% with respect to free standing micropillars .This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. the EL is collected by a microscope objective with a numerical aperture of 0. The samples are mounted on the cold ﬁnger of an He ﬂow cryostat equipped with a precise temperature controller. 3.and out-coupling of light.54. the mode conﬁnement is slightly reduced as compared to optically pumped structures for which the optical modes are laterally conﬁned by the semiconductor–air interface. In addition. Here. Schematic image of the μEL setup. (c) Top facet of a micropillar embedded into BCB.75 m focal length with a spectral resolution of 25 μeV. dispersed by a monochromator (1 m focal length with a spectral resolution of 16 μeV. Fine tuning of the sample’s temperature is required for resonance scans in which a QD exciton can be shifted through resonance with the cavity mode due to a different temperature coefﬁcient of the semiconductor bandgap and its refractive index. the ring-shaped p-contact strongly suppresses the detection of stray light from the pillar’s sidewall in μEL experiments . After metallization of the n-contact at the substrate side of the sample. respectively) and detected by an Si charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. 2. This contact scheme leaves the pillar top facet free from any absorbing contact layer [cf. REITZENSTEIN et al. 2(c)]. the sample is planarized by using the polymer benzocyclobutene (BCB) that acts as an insulator. 3. a slight deﬂection of the plasma ions at the etching mask results in a conically shaped upper part of the micropillars. Finally. We would like to note that BCB has a refractive index of 1. and thus.
In the large-diameter limit. 5. it is important to characterize their emission properties with respect to the mode pattern. at low injection currents and T = 10 K. as presented in Fig. i. Q/Q2D tends toward unity. OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN QD MICROPILLARS We realized electrically contacted QD micropillar samples that are optimized for highly efﬁcient emission of single photons (MC1) and low-threshold current lasing (MC2). maximum outcoupling efﬁciency . The overall temporal resolution of the HBT setup is approximately 0. To identify suitable micropillars for a given cavity design and purpose (single photon source (SPS) or microlaser). Fig. 5 shows the Q-factor and the extraction efﬁciency of representative electrically pumped micropillars based on MC1 as a function of the pillar diameter. λc the resonance wavelength of the cavity mode with a mode volume Vm o de and a linewidth γ C . This efﬁciency that is below 3% for In(Ga)As QDs embedded in a bulk semiconductor can be strongly enhanced due to cavity effects. This. with single-photon counting modules based on Si avalanche photodiode (APDs). The respective micropillar is based on the high-Q cavity structure MC2 and the fundamental cavity mode is characterized by an absorption limited Q-factor of Q = 4000. Fig. The extraction efﬁciency was calculated according to (1) and (2) under the assumption of spectral and spatial resonance.. Q-factor and extraction efﬁciency of representative. To demonstrate the triggered emission of single photons. It is important to note that η ph depends strongly on the cavity parameters via  ηph = Q FP × Q2D FP + 1 (1) where the Purcell factor FP is given by  FP = 3Qλ3 (γc /2)2 |E(r)|2 c × × 3 V 4π 2 neﬀ m o de (γc /2)2 + Δ2 |Em ax |2 (2) III. Time-resolved μEL and microphotoluminescence (μPL) measurements are performed with fast Si-APDs. The fundamental cavity mode C has a Q-factor of 2300 and the pillar is very suitable for single QD experiments due to a low spectral density of QD emission lines (X1 –X3 ). 4 IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS Fig. Pulsed optical excitation is provided in the μPL measurements by a mode-locked Ti:Sa laser at a repetition rate of 82 MHz. larger optical gain. providing pulses with widths down to 200 ps (fullwidth at half-maximum) at a repetition rate of up to 250 MHz. with the exception of pagination. and efﬁciencies of about 70% can be achieved for micropillar cavities . the respective samples are excited by an electrical pulse generator. 4(a) shows the emission from a moderate-Q micropillar patterned from MC1. Best balance between the two effects. 4(b). A signiﬁcantly higher spectral density of QD emission lines.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. The ﬁgure of merit of QD single-photon sources is the photon extraction efﬁciency η ph . This explains the moderate Qfactors between 2000 and 3000 observed for this sample where the drop of the Q-factors for small pillar diameter is attributed to additional sidewall losses. respectively. μEL emission spectra of micropillars based on (a) MC1 and (b) MC2. μEL spectra from two micropillars are depicted in Fig.. is observed in the μEL spectrum.e. i.e. the pillar-to-pillar dispersion of the Q-factor is about 10%. The last term on the right-hand side considers the spatial alignment of the QD at the position r relative to the center of the cavity by relating |E(r)| to the ﬁeld maximum |Em ax |. 4. For a given diameter dc . results again in a reduction of the outcoupling efﬁciency. moderate-Q micropillars based on MC1 as a function of the pillar diameter. and Δ the spectral detuning of the QD exciton.7 ns. where neﬀ denotes the effective refractive index. MC1 is designed for high outcoupling efﬁciency through the upper DBR with only 13 mirror pairs. the QD gain spectrum. in turn. providing a signiﬁcantly better temporal resolution of 40 ps at the cost of lower quantum efﬁciency. Fig. For lasing studies. Content is final as presented. These losses reduce the outcoupling efﬁciency in the small-diameter limit according to the ﬁrst term on the right-hand side of (1). a dc offset can be applied to the sample. A Michelson interferometer is installed in front of the spectrometer in order to measure the ﬁrst-order photon autocorrelation function g(1) (τ ). but the Purcell factor decreases according to (2) because of the larger mode volumes. and the cavity Q-factor. In addition. the samples are excited by a low-noise dc voltage source. The enhanced optical gain and the high Q-factor of MC2 are prerequisites for the realization of low-threshold and high-β micropillar lasers. 4.
close to ﬂat-band condition and the onset of μEL. (a) On. sidewall scattering is negligible and the Q-factor is limited only by intrinsic and absorption losses in the active material and the doped DBRs. SINGLE-PHOTON SOURCES In this section..5 K. the heavily debated nonresonant coupling mechanism – between off-resonant QDs in the active layer and the cavity mode is hardly observed in this moderate-Q microcavity. Here. with the exception of pagination. As expected for a negatively charged exciton. Thus. Single QD Resonance Tuning η ph = 0. 5.65.5 K. it is necessary to note that the spontaneous emission coupling factor is given ¯ ¯ ¯ by β = FP /(FP + 1). In fact. The micropillars are based on MC1 that ensures strongly directional emission of the micropillars normal to the sample’s surface and high outcoupling efﬁciency. moderate-Q microcavities are not only beneﬁcial with respect to high outcoupling efﬁciencies. FP is obtained by spatially and spectrally averaging the gain contribution of all QDs in the active layer . In this large diameter limit. The charge state of the exciton was checked by polarization-dependent measurements .This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. FP denotes the average Purcell factor that needs to be distinguished from the single QD Pur¯ cell factor expressed by (2). they also feature lower multiphoton emission probability due to a reduced background of uncorrelated photons emitted from the cavity mode. Fig. . The cavity Q-factors decrease with decreasing pillar diameter due to enhanced sidewall losses. Content is final as presented. MC2 was designed for high-Q micropillars by showing large Purcell factors for the study of high-β lasing.5 K) under pulsed electrical excitation at f = 220 MHz. Interestingly. (b) μEL intensity map showing the temperature tuning of a negatively charged QD exciton X− .0 and 32. the integrated intensity of the cavity mode is very low under off-resonant conditions. free carrier losses are of minor importance for diameters ≤2 μm that represents the most relevant diameter range for cQED experiments. 6. Fig. 7(b). it is nicely seen that the QD exciton X− can be tuned through resonance with the cavity mode C by increasing the sample temperature from 25 to 46 K. At resonance. the μEL emission of the negatively charged QD exciton X− is strongly enhanced when it is tuned into resonance with the cavity mode C (Q = 2300) at T = 32.5 K. REITZENSTEIN et al. as can be seen in Fig. We obtain Q-factors of up to 16 000 for micropillars with a diameter of 4 μm. the device is biased in forward direction with a dc voltage Vdc of 1. we ﬁnd that free carrier absorption in the DBRs is the main loss channel in this diameter range and the respective absorption coefﬁcient amounts to 18 cm−1 . 6). 6 shows the respective Q-factors and the Purcell factor versus the pillar diameter.70 V. The resonance features of the coupled exciton cavity system are further illustrated by the μEL intensity map.and off-resonance μEL emission spectra of a 2. the extraction efﬁciency IV. 7. Maximum emission intensity is observed at the resonance temperature Tres = 32. In fact. Single-photon emission is studied for a 2-μm-diameter micropillar for which the highest outcoupling efﬁciency close to 65% is expected according to Fig.0 V and a width of about 200 ps. A. Due to the Purcell effect. The emission intensity of X− is strongly enhanced due to the Purcell effect when tuned in to resonance with the cavity mode C at about 32. is achieved at a diameter of 2 μm for the present sample. Fig.0-μm-diameter QD micropillar under pulsed electrical excitation at 220 MHz. We estimate Purcell factors FP up to 50 according to (2) under spatial and spectral resonance (cf. In the applied excitation scheme. Single QD Purcell Effect The Purcell factor represents an important parameter of single-photon sources. we will present efﬁcient single-photon emission from electrically pumped QD micropillar cavities. Q-factor and Purcell factor of representative high-Q micropillars based on MC2 as a function of the pillar diameter. B. With respect to lasing studies. Q-factors of about 14 000 observed for electrically pumped 1. The dc offset ensures that the emission of single photons can be triggered efﬁciently by additional pulses with a height of 6.8-μm-diameter undoped micropillars with the same number of mirror pairs in the DBRs . It is interesting to note that in contrast to high-Q microcavity samples.: ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN QUANTUM DOT MICROPILLAR LIGHT SOURCES 5 Fig. First of all. a maximum fraction β of the spontaneously emitted photons is funneled into the cavity mode that is desirable for high single-photon emission rates. By comparing the Q-factors of 4-μm-diameter micropillars with undoped reference structures.9 μm micropillars compare well with typical values of 13 000 for 1. 7(a) presents μEL spectra of such a micropillar for two temperatures (25. no ﬁne structure splitting could be observed. Here. Fig. As a result. 5. as depicted in Fig.
V. we determine a single-photon ˙ emission rate of nSPE = n 1 − g (2) (0) = 11 MHz for this de˙ vice .This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. depends on FP [cf. recapture processes and the associated multiphoton emission events have detrimental inﬂuence on g(2) (0). photon antibunching. This value is close to the maximum Purcell factor of 5 for this micropillar according to (2) under spatial and spectral resonance. It is interesting to note that the experimental Q-factors of the device (2300) and the planar microcavity (3000) and the Purcell factor (FP = 4. (2)].. vertically emitting micropillar modes. .0 μm micropillar at resonance and pulsed excitation at 220 MHz. These devices show high-β lasing of standard. Moreover. The upper DBR was removed to probe the bulk lifetime of the QDs in the active layer. 8(b). Vdc = 1. The triggered emission of photons from the sample is reﬂected in the periodic occurrence of coincidence peaks. 8. it is necessary to note that the lower experimental Purcell factor could also be related to a dot-to-dot variation when comparing the lifetime of the resonant QD with the lifetime of an ensemble of QDs determined from the sample with removed upper DBR. where n denotes the emission rate of the device. with the exception of pagination. Photon autocorrelation function of the 2. where the overall efﬁciency also includes electrical losses . 10(a) shows the μEL emission spectra of a device with a diameter of . In order to determine the Purcell factor of the present device. 6 IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS Fig. Lasing From Standard Micropillar Modes Lasing of electrically pumped QD micropillars was studied at 10 K under variation of the injection current Iinj . This is a prerequisite for the realization of highly efﬁcient microlasers with low-threshold currents . An exponential ﬁt of the μPL decay reveals a spontaneous lifetime of (1. C. a large fraction of the spontaneous emission is coupled into the lasing mode.16 ± 0. and a repetition rate of 220 MHz. A clear signature of single-photon emission is the strongly reduced peak at zero delay time. For this reason. The respective decay curve is plotted in Fig.5. we performed additional time-dependent μPL measurements on a small ensemble (≈100) of QDs after removal of the upper DBR.16 0.1 ± 0. Under ˙ optimized bias conditions. The photon statistics was probed at the resonance between X− and C.70 V. A. Moreover. an exponential ﬁt of the decay curves reveals a spontaneous recombination lifetime of (304 ± 8) ps on resonance. Triggered Single-Photon Emission To prove single-photon emission from the electrically triggered QD micropillar. The deviation is explained in terms of a spatial detuning of the QD with respect to the maximum of the electrical ﬁeld of the fundamental cavity mode C.5 . This time needs to be compared with the bulk lifetime of the emitter in order to determine the Purcell factor. Fig. MICROLASERS In high-Q microcavities. (a) Time-resolved μEL from the 2. where single-photon emission is characterized by g(2) (0) < 0. as well as laterally emitting WGMs.1) allow us to determine an extraction efﬁciency of 62% that is close to 72% reported recently for an optically pumped photonic wire single-photon source . The corresponding μEL decay curve is presented in Fig. the train of narrow emission pulses with a rise time of less than 120 ps conﬁrms the fast current injection into the device that should allow for gigahertz operation .20 ± 0. First of all. we studied the photon statistics of the emission. By a careful calibration of the detection efﬁciency of our setup and under consideration of the nonideal g(2) (0) value. The HBT setup allows us to investigate the intensity autocorrelation function g(2) (τ ). the Purcell effect reduces the exciton’s radiative lifetime that allows one to enhance the degree of indistinguishability of consecutively emitted photons . 8(a). we were able to demonstrate singlephoton emission rates of up to 47 MHz and an overall efﬁciency of 34% for a 3-μm-diameter electrically triggered QD micropillar device.. (b) Time-resolved μPL from a planar sample. Moreover. In this section.05) ns. i. 9. The small but nonideal g(2) (0) value can be explained by uncorrelated background emission due to a nonnegligible illumination of the cavity mode by spectator QDs . Fig.04 that demonstrates a low probability of multiphoton emission events.0 μm micropillar on resonance (T = 32. we will address lasing from electrically driven QD micropillars based on MC2. 9 shows the photon autocorrelation function g(2) (τ ) of the 2-μm-diameter micropillar.e. we performed time-resolved μEL measurements on resonance at f = 220 MHz. Content is final as presented. Fig. The corresponding Purcell factor amounts to 4.3. Single-photon emission is clearly demonstrated by g(2 ) (0) = 0. we extract g(2) (0) = 0. However. In addition.5 K) under pulsed excitation at 220 MHz.
We ﬁnd a clear increase of the coherence time above threshold that conﬁrms the transition from spontaneous emission to stimulated emission above threshold. the coherence time and the photon statistics of emission need to be taken into account in addition to the input–output curve in order to unambiguously identify the transition to stimulated emission . Therefore. it has been shown that micropillars can show emission from WGMs . While thermal light below the threshold features photon bunching with g(2) (0) > 1. (b) emission mode linewidth.6 μA in the lasing regime. 11 shows the corresponding dependence of the output μEL intensity. exhibiting Poisson photon statistics . . The photon autocorrelation function was measured for the 4 μm microlaser in order to determine g(2) (0). We used a Michelson interferometer to determine g(1) (τ ) from which the coherence time τ C can be extracted. The unexpected decrease of g(2) (0) toward lower injection currents is explained by the limited temporal resolution (τ IRF ≈ 700 ps) of the HBT setup . Components (EH01 . 11(c) versus injection current. At low excitation.. we estimate a β-factor of 0. (a) μEL emission spectra of a 2-μm-diameter miropillar laser at two injection currents (T = 10 K). The identiﬁcation of lasing action becomes rather difﬁcult for high β-value microlasers due to the very smooth threshold behavior. Content is final as presented.: ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN QUANTUM DOT MICROPILLAR LIGHT SOURCES 7 Fig. bunching cannot be resolved if the coherence time τ C is signiﬁcantly lower than τ IRF that is the case for Iinj < 40 μA in the present experiment. A comprehensive study of the lasing characteristic was performed for a 4-μm-diameter device. 10(b). and (d) g(2 ) (0)-value versus injection current of a 4-μm-diameter micropillar laser. A better insight into the coherence properties is obtained by measuring the ﬁrst-order photon autocorrelation function g(1) (τ ) of the emission.03 for the present micropillar. the coherence time τ C . the device is lasing with monomode emission from the very narrow fundamental cavity mode. g(2) (0) approaches unity as predicted for a coherent light source. The decrease of the linewidth below threshold is related to bleaching of absorption losses . The output power of the lasing mode has been recorded by a power meter for a wider range of excitation currents. This effect is hardly seen in the linewidth characteristic.3685 eV.e. The microlaser has a threshold current as low as 8 μA. we identify the fundamental HE11 cavity mode at 1.7 and 20. As can be seen in Fig. 10. . At higher injection currents. mainly because of the limited spectral resolution of the setup.1 μA). 11. the built up of coherence should lead to an additional spectral narrowing of the laser mode . g(2) (0) = 1. Fig. uncorrelated emission of photons. The photon statistic can be determined by the second-order photon autocorrelation function g(2) (τ ). HE21 . The corresponding input– output curve is plotted in Fig. 2 μm for two excitation currents of 2. pronounced bunching with a maximum of g(2) (0) ≈ 1. We identify a threshold current of 32 μA by the kink in the input–output curve.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal.3636 eV with an absorption limited Q-factor of 9000. (a) Log–log input–output curve. the emission mode linewidth. Recently. is expected for a coherent light source. The emission mode linewidth decreases from about 500 μeV at Iinj = 20 μA to resolution limited value of about 20 μeV at large injection currents. B. 11(d). Above threshold. A nonlinear increase of the output intensity occurs at a very low threshold current of only 8 μA and the output power rises up to 234 nW at Iinj = 19. Fig. with the exception of pagination. and HE01 ) of the next higher lateral cavity mode are observed at about 1. The rather smooth transition from spontaneous emission to stimulated emission at the threshold is a clear and typical signature of high β microlasers –. (c) coherence time τ C . and the photon autocorrelation function at time zero g(2) (0) as a function of the injection current. (b) Corresponding input–output curve in linear scale. WGM Lasing So far. From a ﬁt of the experimental data according to the rate equations approach presented in . we have discussed only emission of standard micropillar modes normal to the sample’s surface. A further indication of the transition to laser action is a change of the photon statistics of the emitted photons. In fact. REITZENSTEIN et al. At higher excitation (Iinj = 20. The corresponding coherence times are plotted in Fig.4 occurs at Iinj ≈ 40 μA. i.1 μA. respectively.
8 μA and Iinj = 35. . optically pumped microdisk lasers show a variation of the mode energy on the order of 1 meV  when heating becomes an issue. In order to observe WGM lasing. 12 shows μEL emission spectra of a device with a diameter of 11.12. Content is final as presented. micropillars have signiﬁcantly better thermal properties and can be electrically driven. attributed to bleaching of the QD absorption in the active layer. we chose a wafer position of MC2 where the resonance energy of the planar resonator is blue shifted by about 50 meV with respect to the QD emission band. the linewidth approaches a value of about 35 μeV close to the resolution limit of the spectrometer (25 μeV). 13(a) demonstrates that WGM lasing is achieved for this electrically driven micropillar. The single-photon sources triggered at 220 MHz feature low multiphoton emission probability with g(2) (0) = 0. VI.3185 eV is summarized in Fig. However. Most interesting is the central emission line associated with m = 113 that dominates the spectrum at high injection current. In addition. a Purcell factor of about 4 ensures a controlled emission of single photons that will be very advantageous with respect to the generation of indistinguishable photons. 13. as shown before. This feature is reﬂected in the emission energy of the lasing mode that is very sensitive to temperature changes. Typically. WGM emission is realized by microdisks on narrow pedestals.3 μm for two injection currents (Iinj = 13. 12. In contrast. the disadvantage of an isotropic WGM emission in lateral direction can be circumvented by a gentle deviation from the circular cross section . For instance.16 and a high extraction efﬁciency of 62%. we have presented the fabrication of high-quality electrically pumped QD micropillars and their application as efﬁcient light sources. the emission mode linewidth is strongly reduced to 65 μeV when the injection current approaches the threshold value.3-μm-diameter micropillar WGM laser. we observe a pronounced spectral narrowing and a nonlinear increase of its intensity at high injection currents. The injection current dependence of the WGM at 1. 8 IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS Fig. It is also very attractive for the generation of terahertz emission by difference frequency generation . 13. In-plane light emission from WGMs is highly interesting with respect to planar photonic circuits.. the micropillar WGM laser features rather stable emission energy with a signiﬁcantly lower red shift on the order of only 100 μeV for injection currents up to about six times the threshold current. Emission from three WGMs is identiﬁed and indicated by arrows. The threshold current compares well to the ones found for the standard pillar modes and amounts to 16 μA. Pronounced cQED effects facilitate an efﬁcient coupling of spontaneously emitted photons into the emission mode of micropillar lasers. 13(c). The sample was tilted by 45◦ with respect to the optical axis [cf. We will now address WGM emission and lasing from electrically pumped QD micropillars. In fact. The WGMs are indexed by their azimuthal numbers m determined by numerical calculations by using an effective index approach . Fig. they suffer from pure heat sinking and electrical current injection is an issue as well. In contrast. CONCLUSION In this paper.000. (Inset) Detection scheme.0 μA). (a) Log–log input–output curve. The linewidth at threshold allows us to determine a lower bound of the cavity Q-factor to be 20. Also. Interestingly. A nonlinear increase of the mode intensity and the s-shape of the log–log input–output characteristic in Fig. and (c) emission energy versus injection current from a 13. where the reduction is mainly Fig. μEL emission spectra of a 11. Fig.3-μm-diameter miropillar WGM laser at two injection currents (T = 10 K). This ensures that emission from the standard pillar modes is strongly suppressed . . with the exception of pagination. A clear advantage of the micropillar WGM lasers in comparison to microdisk lasers is the improved heat sinking. By ﬁtting the experimental data according to the model introduced in . conﬁned in the central GaAs cavity layer . as can be seen in Fig. (b) emission mode linewidth.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. The optimized design of the planar microcavities and a special lateral injection scheme using a ringshaped upper contact of the devices allow for the exploitation of cQED effects in electrically driven single-photon sources and microlasers. The blue shift of the emission energy for Iin j < 30 μA is attributed to the plasma effect. Above the threshold. As a result. 12 (inset)] to enhance the collection efﬁciency for the WGMs. we determine a spontaneous coupling factor of β = 0.
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D. T. u u Her current research interests include the investigation of cavity electrodynamics effects in micropillar cavities. u u His current research interests include the realization of electrically pumped quantum dot microlasers. Ms. 10 IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS       photonic-crystal-slab nanocavities: Quality factors and lasing. u where he habilitated with studies regarding optical properties of low-dimensional semiconductor systems (light–matter interaction in single quantum dot micropillar systems. Germany. in 1982. Fry. V. 91.. degree. W¨ rzburg. 72. and G. B. Rev. Fox. P. where he is currently working u toward the Ph. H¨ ﬂing. His current research interests include the area of quantum optics in semiconductors. Phys. Caroline Kistner received the Diploma degree in physics from the University of Canterbury. D. pp. and A. degree at the Department of Technische Physik.” Phys. vol. vol. Content is final as presented. D. Hopkinson. He is currently working toward the Ph. He is currently working toward the bachelor’s degree in nanotechnology at Wrocław University of Technology. W. B. o M. Poland. Lam. S. Lett.” Appl. Sanvitto. in 1985. pp. Germany. and A. single-photon sources. 033901-1–033901-4. S. Yang. S. and semiconductor nanowires) in 2010. pp. Heindel. Konstanz. vol. Dr. Kistner is a member of the German Physical Society (DPG). with the exception of pagination. Reitzenstein. T. A. C. Sweden. D. 2007. W. Mendoza. 17291–17304. Andronico. W¨ rzburg. He is currently working toward the Diploma Engineering degree in nanotechnology at the University of W¨ rzburg. Worschech.. Samarth. “Whispering gallery mode lasing in electrically driven quantum dot micropillars. 155306-1–155306-5. in 2009. Jones. W¨ rzburg. vol. vol. He received the Diploma degree in physics from the University of W¨ rzburg.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. H.. Leo. He is currently with the University of W¨ rzburg. u His current research interests include optical studies on quantum dot micropillar systems. degree at the University of W¨ rzburg. Regensburg. “High Q whispering gallery modes in GaAs/AlAs pillar microcavities. “Combining directional light output and ultralow loss in deformed microdisks. J. Rev. Lett. 2007. Whittaker. Forchel. F. M. 97. S. Auckland. vol. J. where he is currently working toward the Ph. Germany. Ume˚ . Braun is a member of the German Physical Society (DPG). in 1988. 071115-1–071115-3. Mr. Tobias Heindel received the Diploma degree in physics in 2009 from the University of W¨ rzburg. Germany. W¨ rzburg. J. Tristan Braun received the Diploma Engineer degree in nanostructure technology in 2010 from the University of W¨ rzburg. Poland. and M. Li. pp. M.Ga.D.D. Phys. Awschalom.D. pp. Pawel Mrowinski was born in Zielona Gora. Reitzenstein. S. Astratov.” Opt. Caspar Hopfmann was born in Leipzig. New Zealand. Y. V. He was with the University of Regensburg. degree at the Department of Technische Physik. 2008. Reitzenstein is a member of the German Physical Society (DPG) and the American Physical Society. vol. Albert. Christchurch. Claudon. Kamp. Mr. Germany.-M. and the Univeru u sity of Auckland. A. 101108-1–101108-3. u u Germany. Ferdinand Albert was born in 1982. u W¨ rzburg. His current research interests include a a molecular beam epitaxy growth of quantum dot microresonator systems for light–matter interaction experiments. C. Tahraoui. Germany. S. Skolnick. o L.D. New Zealand.” Phys. 100.. 2000. Lett.D. Wiersig and M. W¨ rzburg. B¨ ckler. Stephan Reitzenstein received the Diploma and Ph. M. Braun. Schneider. G´ rard. “Intee grated terahertz source based on three-wave mixing of whispering-gallery modes. Wang. His current research interests include the investigation of cavity quantum electrodynamics effects in micropillar and photonic crystal cavities. Nowicki-Bringuier. S. Berger. She is currently working toward the Ph.-R. 33. pp.D. 2010. . respectively. Rev. W¨ rzburg. Claudon. 2416–2418. Exp. D. Lett.” Phys. (summa cum laude) degrees in physics from the University of W¨ rzburg. B. u u His current research interests include experimental and theoretical studies of photon statistics of micropillar cavities. A. Hentschel. and N. Germany. 2005. 193303-1–193303-4. F. He received the Diploma degree in physics in 2009 from the University of W¨ rzburg. 2008. in 2007. and the University of Ume˚ . Albert is a member of the German Physical Society (DPG). University of W¨ rzburg. J. N. Wrocław. W¨ rzburg. Mr. Germany. in u u 2000 and 2004. M.. 71. Morand. “Whispering gallery resonances in semiconductor micropillars. Germany. and the University of Konstanz. Matthias Lermer was born in Deggendorf.” Appl. pp. A. degree at the Department of Technische Physik. His current research interests include the realization of electrically pumped nonclassical light sources. Germany. Forchel. 15. Heindel is a member of the German Physical Society (DPG).” Opt. and the University of W¨ rzburg. Ghosh. low-threshold micropillar lasers. Germany. X. “Static and dynamic spectroscopy of Al.As/GaAs microdisk lasers with interface ﬂuctuation quantum dots. where u u he is currently working toward the Ph.
fabrication. and their applications.D. and the Ph. Germany. His current research interests include the design. where he was mainly involved in the characterization of InGaN-based light emitting devices. (summa cum laude) degree on the topic “semiconductor lasers with lateral feedback structures” from the University of W¨ rzburg. including quantum wells and quantum dots. u degree at the Department of Technische Physik. W¨ rzburg.D. complex coupled distributed feedback (DFB) lasers. W¨ rzburg. degree from Stony Brook University. with the exception of pagination. and semiconductor lasers. Sven H¨ ﬂing (M’04) was born in 1976. and the European Physical Society. Stuttgart. Martin Kamp received the M. Germany.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. in 2003. Freiburg. u Germany. Alfred Forchel (M’04) received the Diploma degree in physics and the Ph.A. in 1981. Coburg. where u u he is currently the President. in 1995. photonic crystals. REITZENSTEIN et al. respectively. Stony Brook. degree in nanotechnology in 2007 from the University of W¨ rzburg. u u Germany. University of W¨ rzburg. H¨ ﬂing is a member of the IEEE Photonics Society. Germany.D. Germany. He was with the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Solid-State Physics. University of W¨ rzburg.D. Germany. degree. where he is cura u u rently working toward the Ph. NY. Mr. W¨ rzburg. Dr. He was also with the University of Applied Science. in 1978 and 1983. His current research interests include the u development of new patterning technologies for semiconductor lasers. Dr. and semiconductor nanofabrication including quantum dots and single-dot spectroscopy. Forchel is a member of the German Physical Society. His current research interests include novel materials and device concepts for semiconductor lasers. for one year and half a year at LG Laser Technologies GmbH. Mr. He was the Chair of Department of Technische Physik and in charge of the Microstructure Laboratory at W¨ rzburg University.Ing. Content is final as presented. He is currently working toward the Ph.: ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN QUANTUM DOT MICROPILLAR LIGHT SOURCES 11 Christian Schneider was born in W¨ rzburg. He received the diploma degree in o 2002 from the Universit¨ t W¨ rzburg. Germany. high electron mobility structures. Schneider is a member of the German Physical Society (DPG). . high-quality factor photonic cavities. and characterization of low-dimensional electronic and photonic nanostructures. He received the Dipl. Kleinostheim. u u His current research interests include the growth and characterization of semiconductor quantum dots as well as the study of light–matter coupled systems. degree from Stuttgart University. Kamp is a member of the German Physical Society (DPG). W¨ rzburg. He is currently a Professor of physics in the Department of Technische Physik. He has authored or coauthored several hundred papers in leading technical journals and conferences. the German Physical o Society (DPG).