High-temperature ultrafast polariton parametric amplification in semiconductor microcavities

Cavity polaritons, the elementary optical excitations of semiconductor microcavities, may be understood as a superposition of excitons and cavity photons(1). Owing to their composite nature, these bosonic particles have a distinct optical response, at the same time very fast and highly nonlinear. Very efficient light amplification due to polariton-polariton parametric scattering has recently been reported in semiconductor microcavities at liquid-helium temperatures(2-11). Here we demonstrate polariton parametric amplification up to 120 K in GaAlAs-based microcavities and up to 220 K in CdTe-based microcavities. We show that the cut-off temperature for the amplification is ultimately determined by the binding energy of the exciton. A 5-mum-thick planar microcavity can amplify a weak light pulse more than 5,000 times. The effective gain coefficient of an equivalent homogeneous medium would be 10(7) cm(-1). The subpicosecond duration and high efficiency of the amplification could be exploited for high-repetition all-optical microscopic switches and amplifiers. 10(5) polaritons occupy the same quantum state during the amplification, realizing a dynamical condensate of strongly interacting bosons which can be studied at high temperature.


Published in:
Nature, 414, 6865, 731-735
Year:
2001
ISSN:
0028-0836
Keywords:
Note:
Swiss Fed Inst Technol Lausanne, PH Ecublens, Dept Phys, CH-1015 Lausanne EPFL, Switzerland. CNRS, L2M, F-92225 Bagneux, France. Univ Grenoble 1, Spectrometrie Phys Lab, F-38402 St Martin Dheres, France. Univ Cagliari, Dipartimento Fis, I-09042 Monserrato, Italy. Univ Cagliari, Ist Nazl Fis Mat, I-09042 Monserrato, Italy. Saba, M, Swiss Fed Inst Technol Lausanne, PH Ecublens, Dept Phys, CH-1015 Lausanne EPFL, Switzerland.
ISI Document Delivery No.: 501GD
Times Cited: 79
Cited Reference Count: 20
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