The interaction between light and quantum-dot (QD) excitons is strongly influenced by the environment in which the QD is placed. We have investigated the interaction by measuring the time-resolved spontaneous-emission rate of QD excitons in different nanostructured environments. Thereby, we have determined the oscillator strength, quantum efficiency and spin-flip rates of QD excitons as well as their dependencies on emission wavelength and QD size. Enhancement and inhibition of QD spontaneous emission in photonic crystal membranes (PCMs) is observed. Efficient coupling to PCM waveguides is demonstrated and the influence of disorder is discussed. The findings have a strong bearing on future nanophotonic devices.
QD emitter placed in a photonic crystal membrane waveguide (artist's view).