Researchers at Stanford have developed a patented simple inexpensive and reusable method to controllably couple quantum dots and other nanocrystals to photonic crystal cavities fibers or other photonic crystals or optical structures. The method can be used for the construction of low-cost reusable single-photon sources operating at room temperature or for the construction of simple and reusable light-emitting diodes (LEDs). It can also be used for nondestructive and simple testing of the properties of passive photonic crystals and other passive optical structures as the emission from embedded quantum dots or nanocrystals can be used to probe spectral properties of the underlying passive structures. Additionally it can be used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in biochemical sensing techniques employing colloidal quantum dots as markers. The inventors are currently working on extending this technique to incorporate quantum dots emitting at 1550nm into silicon photonic crystal cavities which could lead to a simple way of making silicon-based light sources and devices and possibly even lasers.
1) Simple and reusable 2) Inexpensive