Nonlinear optics of normal-mode-coupling semiconductor microcavities

G. Khitrova, H. M. Gibbs, F. Jahnke, M. Kira, S. W. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

514 Scopus citations


The authors review the nonlinear optical properties of semiconductor quantum wells that are grown inside high-Q Bragg-mirror microcavities. Light-matter coupling in this system is particularly pronounced, leading in the linear regime to a polaritonic mixing of the excitonic quantum well resonance and the single longitudinal cavity mode. The resulting normal-mode splitting of the optical resonance is observed in reflection, transmission, and luminescence experiments. In the nonlinear regime the strong light-matter coupling influences the excitation-dependent bleaching of the normal-mode resonances for nonresonant excitation, leads to transient saturation and normal-mode oscillations for resonant pulsed excitation and is responsible for the density-dependent signatures in the luminescence characteristics. These and many more experimental observations are summarized and explained in this review using a microscopic theory for the Coulomb interacting electron-hole system in the quantum well that is nonperturbatively coupled to the cavity light field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1639
Number of pages49
JournalReviews of Modern Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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