Quantum theory of spontaneous emission and coherent effects in semiconductor microstructures

M. Kira, F. Jahnke, W. Hoyer, S. W. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


A fully quantum-mechanical theory for the interaction of light and electron-hole excitations in semiconductor quantum-well systems is developed. The resulting many-body hierarchy for the correlation functions is truncated using a dynamical decoupling scheme leading to coupled semiconductor luminescence and Bloch equations. For incoherent excitation conditions, the theory is used to describe nonlinear excitonic emission properties of single-quantum wells, optically coupled multiple quantum-well systems, and quantum wells in a microcavity. Resonant coherent optical excitation leads to a direct coupling between the induced coherent polarization and photoluminescence. The resulting quantum corrections to the semiclassical semiconductor Bloch equations and the coherent contributions to the semiconductor luminescence equations are discussed. The secondary emission in directions deviating from the coherent excitation direction after femtosecond-pulse excitation is studied. Coherent control and quadrature squeezing for the light emission are analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-279
Number of pages91
JournalProgress in Quantum Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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