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In this paper, exciting progress of quantum optics in solid state is reviewed. The focus is on semiconductor microcavities with self-assembled quantum dots embedded in the active layer. Due to enormous progress in semiconductor nanotechnology, such photonic structures have become a model system for the study of quantum optics on a scalable and integrable technology platform with high potential for future applications in quantum information technology. Quantum optical phenomena have become accessible due to 3-D confinement of light and matter on the length scale of their wavelength in state-of-the-art semiconductor micro- and nanostructures. This confinement leads to a quantization of the associated photonic and electronic energy levels and requires a quantum mechanical description of the system in the framework of cavity quantum electrodynamics (cQED). This approach considers the dipole interaction between two-level quantum emitters and discrete photonic states of a microcavity. Within the well-known Jaynes-Cummings model, the dipole interaction is described in terms of a coherent exchange of energy between the emitter and the resonator mode. This coherent interaction in the so-called strong coupling regime of cQED is reflected in a normal mode splitting, the vacuum Rabi splitting, of the involved modes and represents a central feature of quantum optics in solid state. Another important example of quantum optics in semiconductor nanostructures is the generation of nonclassical light in specific quantum devices. Of particular interest is the realization of Fock states which represent states containing a well-defined number of photons. Single-photon sources, for instance, allow for the generation of single photons on demand, which is highly desirable for quantum communication systems. In this context, this review paper will present recent experimental studies of quantum optics in solid state. This paper is meant for readers who would like to become familiar with this- topic and for experts being interested in the progress in this field. It will cover a broad range of studies ranging from examples of fundamental light-matter interaction in the quantum limit to devices capable of emitting single photons and entangled photon pairs on demand.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:18 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Nov.-Dec. 2012