The goal of this thesis was to reduce the mode volume of microcavities. A reduced mode volume increases the strength of light matter coupling, which leads to lower lasing thresholds. The Purcell-factor, a measure for the spontaneous emission rate, is at maximum for a minimum mode volume. In the regime of strong coupling, a smaller mode volume leads to a larger Rabi splitting, which in turn increases the maximum operating temperature of a given device. Spectral features become more pronounced and the microcavity is more robust against disturbances caused by environmental fluctuations.
The first approach to reduce the mode volume of a microcavity addresses the penetration depth of the optical field into the Bragg mirrors of a microcavity. It mainly depends on the refractive index contrast of the alternating layers of the Bragg mirror. The maximum contrast is realized by alternating layers consisting of semiconductor and air. Based on theoretical calculations, the mode volume can be decreased in the vertical direction by a factor of 6 compared to a conventional gallium arsenide/aluminum gallium arsenide microcavity. Therefore the aluminum containing layers of a conventional gallium arsenide/aluminum gallium arsenide microcavity are completely removed. The layer thicknesses have to be adjusted to still satisfy the Bragg condition. The successful fabrication of high quality gallium arsenide/air microcavities is demonstrated. Photoluminescence measurements reveal discrete resonances due to the finite dimensions of the structure. Power dependent measurements show a distinct threshold which indicates – combined with the resolution limited spectral linewidth – photon lasing. The dependence of the photonic resonance on the exact value of the refractive index of the Bragg mirror is used to determine the refractive index of gases channeled into the selfsupporting air layers. Alternatively, the photonic resonance of the structure can be tuned by injecting gas into the air layers. Both features could be demonstrated successfully. The structure not being suitable for electrical operation is the main disadvantage of this approach. In this case the second concept is the better solution.
The alternative approach for the upper Bragg mirror of a conventional gallium arsenide/aluminum gallium arsenide microcavity exploits the Tamm-Plasmons. To achieve photonic confinement, the cavity is sandwiched between a lower Bragg mirror and a thin metal top mirror. At the semiconductor-metal interface, photonic Tamm-Plasmon states appear. Additionally, the metal mirror is used as electrical contact. The coupling of the quantum well exciton to the Tamm-Plasmon is presented. In the strong coupling regime, a complete electro-optical resonance tuning (i.e. from positive to negative tuning of the exciton resonance compared to the Tamm-Plasmon state) is demonstrated, exploiting the quantum confined Stark effect. The measurements confirm an increased Rabi splitting due to the reduced mode volume (factor of 2 reduced mode volume). Spectral shift and oscillator strength of the exciton in the electric field are consistent with theory and literature values. The most critical point of this approach lies within the limited Q-factor due to the large extinction coefficient of the top metal layer.
|Advisor:||Kamp , Martin|
|School:||Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-Universitaet Wuerzburg (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
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