Light sources for applications in quantum information, quantum-enhanced sensing and quantum metrology are attracting increasing scientific interest. To gain inside into the underlying physical processes of quantum light generation, efficient photon detectors and experimental techniques are required to access the photon statistics. In this work, we employ photon-number-resolving (PNR) detectors based on superconducting transition-edge sensors (TESs) for the metrology of photonic microstructures with semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) as emitters. For the PNR analysis, we developed a state of the art PNR detection system based on fiber-coupled superconducting TESs. Our stand-alone system comprises six tungsten TESs, read out by six 2-stage-SQUID current sensors, and operated in a compact detector unit integrated into an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator. This PNR detection system enables us to directly access the photon statistics of the light field emitted by our photonic microstructures. In this contribution, we focus on the PNR study of deterministically fabricated quantum light sources emitting single indistinguishable photons as well as twin-photon states. Additionally, we present a PNR-analysis of electrically pumped QD micropillar lasers exhibiting a peculiar bimodal behavior. Employing TESs our work provides direct insight into the complex emission characteristics of QD- based light sources. We anticipate, that TES-based PNR detectors, will be a viable tool for implementations of photonic quantum information processing relying on multi-photon states.
The development and physical understanding of high-beta nanolasers operating in regime of cavity-quantum-electrodynamics (cQED) is a highly interdisciplinary field of research, involving important aspects of nanotechnology, quantum optics, and semiconductor physics. Of particular interest is the quantum limit of operation, in which a few or even a single emitter act as gain material.
The regime of strong light-matter coupling is typically associated with weak excitation. With current realizations of cQED systems, strong coupling may persevere even at elevated excitation levels sufficient to cross the threshold to lasing. In the presence of stimulated emission, the vacuum-Rabi doublet in the emission spectrum is modiﬁed and the established criterion for strong coupling no longer applies.
Based on an analytic approach, we provide a generalized criterion for strong coupling and the corresponding emission spectrum that includes the inﬂuence of higher Jaynes-Cummings states. The applicability is demonstrated in a theory-experiment comparison of a state-of-the-art few-emitter quantum-dot (QD)–micropillar laser as a particular realization of the driven dissipative Jaynes-Cummings model . Furthermore, we address the question if and for which parameters true single-emitter lasing can be achieved. By using a master-equation approach for up to 8 QDs coupled to the mode, we provide evidence for the coexistence of strong coupling and lasing in our system in the presence of background emitter contributions by identifying signatures in the mean-photon number, the photon-autocorrelation function, and the emission linewidth.
 C. Gies et al., accepted for publication in PRA, arxiv:1606.05591