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Title: Bose-Einstein Condensation of Long-Lifetime Polaritons in Thermal Equilibrium

Abstract

The experimental realization of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) with atoms and quasiparticles has triggered wide exploration of macroscopic quantum effects. Microcavity polaritons are of particular interest because quantum phenomena such as BEC and superfluidity can be observed at elevated temperatures. However, polariton lifetimes are typically too short to permit thermal equilibration. This has led to debate about whether polariton condensation is intrinsically a nonequilibrium effect. Here we report the first unambiguous observation of BEC of optically trapped polaritons in thermal equilibrium in a high-$$Q$$ microcavity, evidenced by equilibrium Bose-Einstein distributions over broad ranges of polariton densities and bath temperatures. With thermal equilibrium established, we verify that polariton condensation is a phase transition with a well-defined density-temperature phase diagram. We report the measured phase boundary agrees well with the predictions of basic quantum gas theory.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [2];  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  2. Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Physics
  3. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Electrical Engineering Dept.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Excitonics (CE); Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1388263
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1338654
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0001088; PHY-1205762; DMR-1104383; DMR-1420541
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 1; Related Information: CE partners with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (lead); Brookhaven National Laboratory; Harvard University; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; solar (photovoltaic); solid state lighting; photosynthesis (natural and artificial); charge transport; optics; synthesis (novel materials); synthesis (self-assembly); synthesis (scalable processing)

Citation Formats

Sun, Yongbao, Wen, Patrick, Yoon, Yoseob, Liu, Gangqiang, Steger, Mark, Pfeiffer, Loren N., West, Ken, Snoke, David W., and Nelson, Keith A. Bose-Einstein Condensation of Long-Lifetime Polaritons in Thermal Equilibrium. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.016602.
Sun, Yongbao, Wen, Patrick, Yoon, Yoseob, Liu, Gangqiang, Steger, Mark, Pfeiffer, Loren N., West, Ken, Snoke, David W., & Nelson, Keith A. Bose-Einstein Condensation of Long-Lifetime Polaritons in Thermal Equilibrium. United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.016602
Sun, Yongbao, Wen, Patrick, Yoon, Yoseob, Liu, Gangqiang, Steger, Mark, Pfeiffer, Loren N., West, Ken, Snoke, David W., and Nelson, Keith A. Thu . "Bose-Einstein Condensation of Long-Lifetime Polaritons in Thermal Equilibrium". United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.016602. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1388263.
@article{osti_1388263,
title = {Bose-Einstein Condensation of Long-Lifetime Polaritons in Thermal Equilibrium},
author = {Sun, Yongbao and Wen, Patrick and Yoon, Yoseob and Liu, Gangqiang and Steger, Mark and Pfeiffer, Loren N. and West, Ken and Snoke, David W. and Nelson, Keith A.},
abstractNote = {The experimental realization of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) with atoms and quasiparticles has triggered wide exploration of macroscopic quantum effects. Microcavity polaritons are of particular interest because quantum phenomena such as BEC and superfluidity can be observed at elevated temperatures. However, polariton lifetimes are typically too short to permit thermal equilibration. This has led to debate about whether polariton condensation is intrinsically a nonequilibrium effect. Here we report the first unambiguous observation of BEC of optically trapped polaritons in thermal equilibrium in a high-$Q$ microcavity, evidenced by equilibrium Bose-Einstein distributions over broad ranges of polariton densities and bath temperatures. With thermal equilibrium established, we verify that polariton condensation is a phase transition with a well-defined density-temperature phase diagram. We report the measured phase boundary agrees well with the predictions of basic quantum gas theory.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.016602},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1388263}, journal = {Physical Review Letters},
issn = {0031-9007},
number = 1,
volume = 118,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {1}
}

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