Schrödinger cat states in quantum-dot-cavity systems
A Schrödinger-cat state is a coherent superposition of macroscopically distinguishable quantum states, in quantum optics usually realized as superposition of coherent states. Protocols to prepare photonic cats have been presented for atomic systems. Here we investigate in what manner and how well the preparation protocols can be transferred to a solid-state platform, namely, a semiconductor quantum-dot–cavity system. In quantum-dot– cavity systems there are many disruptive influences like cavity losses, the radiative decay of the quantum dot, and the coupling to longitudinal acoustic phonons. We show that for one of the protocols these influences kill the quantum coherence between the states forming the cat, while for a second protocol a parameter regime can be identified where the essential characteristics of Schrödinger-cat states survive the environmental influences under conditions that can be realized with current equipment.