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Enhancing microcavity polaritons for technological applications

Steger, Mark (2016) Enhancing microcavity polaritons for technological applications. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Microcavity exciton-polaritons, semiconductor quasiparticles that are a unique mixture of light and matter, are routinely used to study quantum many-body phenomena. Due to the light mass of the polariton, $\sim 10^{-4}$ times the bare electron mass, polaritons manifest noticeable quantum effects even at room temperature.

As solid state systems, microcavity polaritons are generally robust and compatible with current semiconductor technology. Microcavity chips could be integrated into electronic or optical circuits. I present a demonstration of microcavity polaritons as an all-optical transistor, where the strong nonlinearity of the system leads to a change in the reflectivity for a signal light-ray from high to low. I also discuss the promise of using strongly coupled microcavities as low-threshold polariton lasers, which could replace traditional lasers in some cases.

The last two decades have seen great strides in the material systems used in microcavities, even demonstrating strong coupling at room temperature. GaN, CdZnSe, organic semiconductors and more recently, MoS$_2$ have supported strong coupling at ambient conditions. This makes technological applications more promising. I present our current progress in this field. Also, the general quality of microcavities has advanced steadily over this time. I demonstrate that our long-lifetime polaritons persist for an order of magnitude longer than in similar samples. This opens up new regimes of study and technological application as these particles thermalize better and carry quantum coherence over macroscopic distances.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Steger, Markmds71@pitt.eduMDS71
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSnoke, David W.snoke@pitt.eduSNOKE
Committee MemberDevaty, Robert P.devaty@pitt.eduDEVATY
Committee MemberWood-Vasey, Michaelwmwv@pitt.eduWMWV
Committee MemberCoalson, Rob DCOALSON@pitt.eduCOALSON
Committee MemberChen, Kevin P.pec9@pitt.eduPEC9
Date: 15 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 December 2015
Approval Date: 15 June 2016
Submission Date: 18 November 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 218
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Physics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microcavity; Exciton-polaritons; Optical Switch
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 18:14
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:30


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