Angular momentum transfer from photon polarization to an electron spin in a gate-defined quantum dot

Takafumi Fujita, Kazuhiro Morimoto, Haruki Kiyama, Giles Allison, Marcus Larsson, Arne Ludwig, SaschaR. Valentin, Andreas D. Wieck, Akira Oiwa & Seigo Tarucha

Gate-defined quantum dots (QDs) are such a highly-tunable quantum system in which single spins can be electrically coupled, manipulated, and measured. However, the spins in gate-defined QDs are lacking its interface to free-space photons. Here, we verify that a circularly-polarized single photon can excite a single electron spin via the transfer of angular momentum, measured using Pauli spin blockade (PSB) in a double QD. We monitor the inter-dot charge tunneling which only occur when the photo-electron spin in one QD is anti-parallel to the electron spin in the other. This allows us to detect single photo-electrons in the spin-up/down basis using PSB. The photon polarization dependence of the excited spin state was finally confirmed for the heavy-hole exciton excitation. The angular momentum transfer observed here is a fundamental step providing a route to instant injection of spins, distributing single spin information, and possibly towards extending quantum communication.


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