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Surface Acoustic Waves

Surface acoustic wave driven light emitting diode, outputting pulses of photons at 1GHz
We demonstrated in 1996 that surface acoustic waves travelling along a semiconductor such as GaAs can be used to transport small numbers of electrons from one part of a device to another. In 2000 we proposed that such a system could form the basis of a quantum information processor. Recently we have developed aspects of this system in the following experiments:
  • Quantum-dot thermometry of electron heating by surface acoustic waves
  • Experimental investigation of the surface acoustic wave electron capture mechanism
  • Examination of surface acoustic wave reflections by observing acousto-electric current generation under pulse-modulation.
  • Collapse of non-equilibrium charge states in an isolated quantum dot using surface acoustic waves
  • Single-electron population and depopulation of an isolated quantum dot using a surface-acoustic-wave pulse
  • Energy dependent tunnelling from few-electron dynamic quantum dots
  • Coherent time evolution of a single-electron wave function

SAW device for studying coherent tunnelling between static and dynamic quantum dots
In addition we have developed this technology for application to single-photon sources for quantum key distribution in collaboration with Toshiba Research Europe Ltd..
  • Surface acoustic wave driven luminescence from a lateral p-n junction
  • Temporal characteristics of surface-acoustic-wave-driven luminescence from a lateral p-n junction