Optically induced dynamic nuclear spin polarization (DNP) in a semiconductor quantum dot (QD) requires many cycles of excitation of spin polarized carriers and carrier recombination. As such, the radiative lifetime of the exciton containing the electron becomes one of the limiting factors of DNP. In principle, changing the radiative lifetime of the exciton will affect DNP and thus the nuclear spin polarization. Here, we demonstrate the manipulation of DNP in single QDs through the engineering of the photonic environment using two-dimensional photonic crystals. We find that the achievable degree of nuclear spin polarization can be controlled through the modification of exciton radiative lifetime. Our results show the promise of achieving a higher degree of nuclear spin polarization via photonic environment engineering, with implications on spin-based quantum information processing.
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