Theory of the quantum-dot Mollow triplet in an exciton-driven semiconductor cavity

Research paper by C. Roy, S. Hughes

Indexed on: 27 Jan '12Published on: 27 Jan '12Published in: Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect


We present a comprehensive theoretical study of the resonance fluorescence spectra of an exciton-driven quantum dot (QD) placed inside a high-$Q$ semiconductor cavity and interacting with an acoustic phonon bath. We derive a quantum master equation (ME) in the polaron frame which includes exciton-phonon and exciton-cavity coupling to all orders. This work details and extends the theory used in a recent issue of {\em Physical Review Letters} (C. Roy and S. Hughes 2011: Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 106} 247403) to describe the QD Mollow triplet in the regime of semiconductor cavity-QED. Here we introduce two ME forms, Nakajima-Zwanzig (NZ) and time-convolutionless (TC), both to second order in the system--phonon-reservoir perturbation. In the polaron frame, these two ME forms are shown to yield equivalent population dynamics and fluorescence spectra for a continuous wave (cw) driving field. We also demonstrate that a Markov approximation is valid for computing the incoherent scattering processes and we subsequently exploit the Markovian TC ME to explore the resonance fluorescence spectra of an exciton-driven QD. Both cavity-emitted and exciton-emitted spectra are studied and these are found to have qualitatively different spectral features. Using a coherent driving field, the well known characteristics of the atomic Mollow triplet are shown to be considerably modified with electron--acoustic-phonon scattering and we highlight the key effects arising from both cavity coupling and electron-phonon coupling. Regimes of pronounced cavity feeding and anharmonic cavity-QED are exemplified, and we find that the cavity coupling depends sensitively on the exciton-cavity detuning and the temperature of the phonon bath. We show how the full width at half maximum (linewidth) of the Mollow triplet sidebands varies as a function of the square of the Rabi frequency of the cw pump.