We observe experimentally that ensembles of quantum dots in three-dimensional (3D) photonic crystals reveal strongly nonexponential time-resolved emission. These complex emission decay curves are analyzed with a continuous distribution of decay rates. The log-normal distribution describes the decays well for all studied lattice parameters. The distribution width is identified with variations of the radiative emission rates of quantum dots with various positions and dipole orientations in the unit cell. We find a striking sixfold change of the width of the distribution by varying the lattice parameter. This interpretation qualitatively agrees with the calculations of the 3D projected local density of states. We therefore conclude that fluorescence decay of ensembles of quantum dots is highly nonexponential to an extent that is controlled by photonic crystals.

Phys. Rev. B
Resonant Nanophotonics

Nikolaev, I. S., Lodahl, P., van Driel, A. F., Koenderink, F., & Vos, W. L. (2007). Strongly nonexponential time-resolved fluorescence of quantum-dot ensembles in three-dimensional photonic crystals. Phys. Rev. B, 75(Article number: 115302), 1–5. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.75.115302