Macroscopic rotation of photon polarization induced by a single spin.

Research paper by Christophe C Arnold, Justin J Demory, Vivien V Loo, Aristide A Lemaître, Isabelle I Sagnes, Mikhaïl M Glazov, Olivier O Krebs, Paul P Voisin, Pascale P Senellart, Loïc L Lanco

Indexed on: 18 Feb '15Published on: 18 Feb '15Published in: Nature communications


Entangling a single spin to the polarization of a single incoming photon, generated by an external source, would open new paradigms in quantum optics such as delayed-photon entanglement, deterministic logic gates or fault-tolerant quantum computing. These perspectives rely on the possibility that a single spin induces a macroscopic rotation of a photon polarization. Such polarization rotations induced by single spins were recently observed, yet limited to a few 10(-3) degrees due to poor spin-photon coupling. Here we report the enhancement by three orders of magnitude of the spin-photon interaction, using a cavity quantum electrodynamics device. A single hole spin in a semiconductor quantum dot is deterministically coupled to a micropillar cavity. The cavity-enhanced coupling between the incoming photons and the solid-state spin results in a polarization rotation by ± 6° when the spin is optically initialized in the up or down state. These results open the way towards a spin-based quantum network.