Resolving the temporal evolution of line broadening in single quantum emitters

Christian Schimpf, Marcus Reindl, Petr Klenovský, Thomas Fromherz, Saimon F. Covre Da Silva, Julian Hofer, Christian Schneider, Sven Höfling, Rinaldo Trotta, Armando Rastelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Light emission from solid-state quantum emitters is inherently prone to environmental decoherence, which results in a line broadening and in the deterioration of photon indistinguishability. Here we employ photon correlation Fourier spectroscopy (PCFS) to study the temporal evolution of such a broadening in two prominent systems: GaAs and In(Ga)As quantum dots. Differently from previous experiments, the emitters are driven with short laser pulses as required for the generation of high-purity single photons, the time scales we probe range from a few nanoseconds to milliseconds and, simultaneously, the spectral resolution we achieve can be as small as ∼ 2µeV. We find pronounced differences in the temporal evolution of different optical transition lines, which we attribute to differences in their homogeneous linewidth and sensitivity to charge noise. We analyze the effect of irradiation with additional white light, which reduces blinking at the cost of enhanced charge noise. Due to its robustness against experimental imperfections and its high temporal resolution and bandwidth, PCFS outperforms established spectroscopy techniques, such as Michelson interferometry. We discuss its practical implementation and the possibility to use it to estimate the indistinguishability of consecutively emitted single photons for applications in quantum communication and photonic-based quantum information processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35290-35307
Number of pages18
JournalOptics Express
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019


  • Discrete Fourier transforms
  • Photon correlations
  • Single photon detectors
  • Spectral properties
  • Spontaneous emission
  • White light


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