We demonstrate precise and quick detection of the positions of quantum dots (QDs) embedded in two-dimensional photonic crystal nanocavities. We apply this technique to investigate the QD position dependence of the optical coupling between the QD and the nanocavity. We use a scanning electron microscope (SEM) operating at a low acceleration voltage to detect surface bumps induced by the QDs buried underneath. This enables QD detection with a sub-10 nm precision. We then experimentally measure the vacuum Rabi spectra to extract the optical coupling strengths (gs) between single QDs and cavities, and compare them to the values estimated by a combination of the SEM-measured QD positions and electromagnetic cavity field simulations. We found a highly linear relationship between the local cavity field intensities and the QD-cavity gs, suggesting the validity of the point dipole approximation used in the estimation of the gs. The estimation using SEM has a small standard deviation of ±6.2%, which potentially enables the high accuracy prediction of g prior to optical measurements. Our technique will play a key role for deeply understanding the interaction between QDs and photonic nanostructures and for advancing QD-based cavity quantum electrodynamics.
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