An artificial atom locked to natural atoms

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N. Akopian, R. Trotta, E. Zallo, S. Kumar, P. Atkinson, A. Rastelli, O. G. Schmidt, V. Zwiller


Submitted to nature Photonics

Single-photon sources that emit photons at the same energy play a key role in the emerging concepts of quantum information, such as entanglement swapping, quantum teleportation and quantum networks. They can be realized in a variety of systems, where semiconductor quantum dots, or 'artificial atoms', are arguably among the most attractive. However, unlike 'natural atoms', no two artificial atoms are alike. This peculiarity is a serious hurdle for quantum information applications that require photonic quantum states with identical energies. Here we demonstrate a single artificial atom that generates photons with an absolute energy that is locked to an optical transition in a natural atom. Furthermore, we show that our system is robust and immune to drifts and fluctuations in the environment of the emitter. Our demonstration is crucial for realization of a large number of universally-indistinguishable solid-state systems at arbitrary remote locations, where frequency-locked artificial atoms might become fundamental ingredients.