We experimentally investigate the emission decay rates of self-assembled single InAs quantum dots (QDs) embedded in sub-wavelength semiconductor waveguides with and without metal side claddings. Compared with as-grown single QDs, we observe a clear suppression (enhancement) in the radiative decay rates of single InAs QDs embedded in the sub-wavelength semiconductor waveguides without (with) metal cladding, respectively. The decay rate for QDs in metal-clad waveguides is >2 times faster than that in waveguides without metal. Numerical calculations using models that include the effects of structural imperfections show good agreement with the experimental results, and reveal that the most important structural imperfection is the gap between the metal and the semiconductor.
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