Excited state quantum couplings and optical switching of an artificial molecule

K. Müller, G. Reithmaier, E. C. Clark, V. Jovanov, M. Bichler, H. J. Krenner, M. Betz, G. Abstreiter, J. J. Finley

published 2011 Physical Review B 84, 081302 (R) (2011)

We optically probe the spectrum of ground and excited state transitions of an individual, electrically tunable self-assembled quantum dot molecule. Photocurrent absorption measurements show that the spatially direct neutral exciton transitions in the upper and lower dots are energetically separated by only ~2 meV. Excited state transitions ~8–16 meV to higher energy exhibit pronounced anticrossings as the electric field is tuned due to the formation of hybridized electron states. We show that the observed excited state transitions occur between these hybridized electronic states and different hole states in the upper dot. By simultaneously pumping two different excited states with independent laser fields we demonstrate a strong (88% on-off contrast) laser-induced switching of the optical response. The results represent an electrically tunable, discrete coupled quantum system with a conditional optical response.