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Brief introduction to the Clermont4 physics

From Clermont4

The Microcavities textbook [1] [2], by A. Kavokin, J. J. Baumberg, G. Malpuech and F.P. Laussy, provides a more detailed picture of the physics of Clermont4.

The rapid progress of crystal growth technology in the 21st century has made possible the realization of crystalline microstructures which have unusual and extremely interesting optical properties. In particular, a large variety of intriguing optical phenomena take place in monolithic solid state structures termed microcavities which can confine both light and charge carriers and provide a laboratory for semiconductor quantum optics and photonics. The central object of study in this laboratory is an exciton-polariton; a half-light-half-matter quasiparticle exhibiting very specific properties and playing a key role in a number of beautiful effects including super-fluidity, super-radiance, entanglement etc. The exciton-polaritons in microcavities are formed due to the strong coupling of a confined light mode with an exciton resonance in a bulk semi-conductor, quantum well (QW) or any other quantum structure embedded in the cavity. Due to their excitonic component, the polaritons interact with each other, and due to the photonic component, they are extended in real space, and can be directly accessed by optical spectroscopy. Exciton-polaritons obey bosonic statistics and can Bose condense at high temperatures due to their extremely light effective mass. The Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) of exciton polaritons opens the way towards the realization of a new generation of optoelectronic devices exploit-ing collective quantum effects at room temperature. Polaritonics, a newly emerging supra-disciplinary field involving fundamental and applied semiconductor physics, photonics, band structure engineering, crystal growth and device fabrication, is now expanding at high pace. At present, tens of research teams worldwide work on fabrication, optical spectroscopy, theory, and applications of microcavities for the polaritonics. Future polariton devices will include polari-ton lasers, optical gates, optical parametric oscillators, switches, polarization modulators, and spin-memory elements. In general, polaritonics can be expected to bring revolutionary changes in optoelectronics and information processing as it opens up entirely new mechanisms for the control and manipulation of device states with light. The excellent science provides a very favor-able environment for training in polaritonics.

To exploit the huge potential of polaritonics, the project Partners will educate and train a new generation of physicists and device engineers able to conduct research and its application in this new area. The research will be focussed on realisation of four prototypes of polariton devices: electrically pumped polariton lasers, micron size optical parametric oscillators, optical logic gates and cavity-based emitters of entangled photonic pairs. The project objectives are:

  1. Design, fabrication and characterisation of novel strong coupling structures (pillar cavities, microdiscs, double or triple cavities, hybrid AlInN/GaN/ZnO cavities).
  2. Engineering of optical nonlinearities: OPO, bistable and multistable systems.
  3. Polariton quantum optics experiments: pair generation, entanglement, squeezing.
  4. Exciton-polariton spin / angular momentum devices: generation of spin currents, vortices.
  5. Room temperature BEC of exciton-polaritons.
  6. Experimental demonstration and theoretical understanding of superfluidity of exciton-polaritons.
  7. Electrically pumped exciton-polariton devices including GaAs and GaN based polariton lasers.

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