An electrically pumped polariton laser

Christian Schneider, Arash Rahimi-Iman, Na Young Kim, Julian Fischer, Ivan G. Savenko, Matthias Amthor, Matthias Lermer, Adriana Wolf, Lukas Worschech, Vladimir D. Kulakovskii, Ivan A. Shelykh, Martin Kamp, Stephan Reitzenstein, Alfred Forchel, Yoshihisa Yamamoto, Sven Höfling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

334 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional semiconductor laser emission relies on stimulated emission of photons(1,2), which sets stringent requirements on the minimum amount of energy necessary for its operation(3,4). In comparison, exciton-polaritons in strongly coupled quantum well microcavities(5) can undergo stimulated scattering that promises more energy-efficient generation of coherent light by 'polariton lasers'(3,6). Polariton laser operation has been demonstrated in optically pumped semiconductor microcavities at temperatures up to room temperature(7-12), and such lasers can outperform their weak-coupling counterparts in that they have a lower threshold density(12,13). Even though polariton diodes have been realized(14-16), electrically pumped polariton laser operation, which is essential for practical applications, has not been achieved until now. Here we present an electrically pumped polariton laser based on a microcavity containing multiple quantum wells. To prove polariton laser emission unambiguously, we apply a magnetic field and probe the hybrid light-matter nature of the polaritons. Our results represent an important step towards the practical implementation of polaritonic light sources and electrically injected condensates, and can be extended to room-temperature operation using wide-bandgap materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-352
Number of pages5
Issue number7449
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2013




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