Single photon source from a nanoantenna-trapped single quantum dot
Plasmonics can be used to enhance the emission properties of single quantum nano-objects and use them as bright ultrafast single-photon sources. However, plasmonic trapping single quantum objects have remained highly challenging so far. In a recent Nano Letters publication, we introduce a dedicated plasmonic nanoantenna design to trap single colloidal quantum dots and enhance their single-photon emission. The nano-optical trapping automatically locates the quantum emitter at the nanoantenna hotspot where the emission enhancement is maximum.
Single-photon sources with high brightness and subnanosecond lifetimes are key components of quantum technologies. Optical nanoantennas can enhance the emission properties of single quantum emitters, but this approach requires accurate nanoscale positioning of the source at the plasmonic hotspot. Here, we use plasmonic nanoantennas to simultaneously trap single colloidal quantum dots and enhance their photoluminescence. The nano-optical trapping automatically locates the quantum emitter at the nanoantenna hotspot without further processing. Our dedicated nanoantenna design achieves a high trap stiffness of 0.6 (fN/nm)/mW for quantum dot trapping, together with a relatively low trapping power of 2 mW/μm2. The emission from the nanoantenna-trapped single quantum dot shows 7× increased brightness, 50× reduced blinking, 2× shortened lifetime, and a clear antibunching below 0.5 demonstrating true single-photon emission. Combining nano-optical tweezers with plasmonic enhancement is a promising route for quantum technologies and spectroscopy of single nano-objects.
Novelty and impact of our work:
Enhanced single-photon brightness is demonstrated from a trapped single quantum dot, together with strongly reduced blinking and accelerated lifetime. This provides a significant advance over previous reports lacking a clear demonstration of antibunching.
Our novel nanoantenna design achieves the highest trap stiffness reported so far for individual quantum dots, allowing to reduce the trapping intensity and mitigate the thermal effects.
Preprint is also freely available on ArXiv 2108.06508
Quanbo Jiang et al, Single Photon Source from a Nanoantenna-Trapped Single Quantum Dot, Nano Letters (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c02449
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