Friday, 19 July, 2013
Bright, long-lived and coherent excitons in carbon nanotube quantum dots
M. Hofmann, J. Glückert, J. Noé, C. Bourjau, R. Dehmel, and A. Högele -
Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 8 (7), pp. 502-505 (2013)
Carbon nanotubes exhibit a wealth of unique physical properties. By virtue of their exceptionally low mass and extreme stiffness they provide ultrahigh-quality mechanical resonances, promise long electron spin coherence times in a nuclear-spin free lattice for quantum information processing and spintronics, and feature unprecedented tunability of optical transitions for optoelectronic applications. Excitons in semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes could facilitate the upconversion of spin, mechanical or hybrid spin–mechanical degrees of freedom to optical frequencies for efficient manipulation and detection. However, successful implementation of such schemes with carbon nanotubes has been impeded by rapid exciton decoherence at non-radiative quenching sites, environmental dephasing and emission intermittence. Here we demonstrate that these limitations may be overcome by exciton localization in suspended carbon nanotubes. For excitons localized in nanotube quantum dots we found narrow optical lines free of spectral wandering, radiative exciton lifetimes and effectively suppressed blinking. Our findings identify the great potential of localized excitons for efficient and spectrally precise interfacing of photons, phonons and spins in novel carbon nanotube-based quantum devices.