Higher order coherence of exciton-polariton condensates
The second- and third-order coherence functions g((n))(0) (n= 2 and 3) of an exciton-polariton condensate are measured and compared to the theory. Contrary to an ideal photon laser, deviation from unity in the second- and third-order coherence functions is observed, thus showing a bunching effect, but not the characteristics of a standard thermal state with g((n))(0) = n!. The increase in bunching with the order of the coherence function, g((3))(0) > g((2))(0) > 1, indicates that the polariton condensate is different from a coherent state, a number state, or a thermal state. The measurement of third-order coherence has the advantage, compared to the second-order one, that the difference between a thermal state and a coherent state is more pronounced. The experimental results are in agreement with the theoretical model where polariton-polariton and polariton-phonon interactions are responsible for the loss of temporal coherence.