Zero-phonon-line emission of single molecules for applications in quantum information processing
Photonic Materials, Devices, and Applications
A single photon source which generates transform limited single photons is highly desirable for applications in quantum optics. Transform limited emission guarantees the indistinguishability of the emitted single photons. This, in turn brings groundbreaking applications in linear optics quantum information processing within an experimental reach. Recently, self-assembled InAs quantum dots and trapped atoms have successfully been demonstrated as such sources for highly indistinguishable single
... otons. Here, we demonstrate that nearly transform limited zero-phonon-line (ZPL) emission from single molecules can be obtained by using vibronic excitation. Furthermore we report the results of coincidence detection experiments at the output of a Michelson-type interferometer. These experiments reveal Hong-Ou-Mandel correlations as a proof of the indistinguishability of the single photons emitted consecutively from a single molecule. Therefore, single molecules constitute an attractive alternative to single InAs quantum dots and trapped atoms for applications in linear optics quantum information processing. Experiments were performed with a home-built confocal microscope keeping the sample in a superfluid liquid Helium bath at 1.4K. We investigated terrylenediimide (TDI) molecules highly diluted in hexadecane (Shpol'skii matrix). A continuous wave single mode dye laser was used for excitation of vibronic transitions of individual molecules. From the integral fluorescence, the ZPL of single molecules was selected with a spectrally narrow interference filter. The ZPL emission was then sent to a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer for linewidth measurements or a Michelson-type interferometer for coincidence detection. Keywords: Single molecule spectroscopy, quantum optics, quantum information processing, single photon source, photon indistinguishability, two-photon interference, linear optics quantum information processing, vibronic excitation Further author information: A.