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Coherently driving a single quantum two-level system with dichromatic laser pulses

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Yu-Ming He, Hui Wang, Can Wang, M.-C. Chen, Xing Ding, Jian Qin, Z.-C. Duan, Si Chen, J.-P. Li, Run-Ze Liu, C. Schneider, Mete Atatüre, Sven Hoefling, Chao-Yang Lu, Jian-Wei Pan

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The excitation of individual two-level quantum systems using an electromagnetic field is an elementary tool of quantum optics, with widespread applications across quantum technologies. The efficient excitation of a single two-level system usually requires the driving field to be at the same frequency as the transition between the two quantum levels. However, in solid-state implementations, the scattered laser light can dominate over the single photons emitted by the two-level system, imposing a challenge for single-photon sources. Here, we propose a background-free method for the coherent excitation and control of a two-level quantum system using a phase-locked dichromatic electromagnetic field with no spectral overlap with the optical transition. We demonstrate this method experimentally by stimulating single-photon emission from a single quantum dot embedded in a micropillar, reaching single-photon purity of 0.988(1) and indistinguishability of 0.962(6). The phase-coherent nature of our two-colour excitation scheme is demonstrated by the dependence of the resonance fluorescence intensity on the relative phase between the two pulses. Our two-colour excitation method represents an additional and useful tool for the study of atom–photon interaction, and the generation of spectrally isolated indistinguishable single photons.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalNature Physics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019

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