Intensity fluctuations in bimodal micropillar lasers enhanced by quantum-dot gain competition

H. A. M. Leymann*, C. Hopfmann, F. Albert, A. Foerster, M. Khanbekyan, C. Schneider, Sven Höfling, A. Forchel, M. Kamp, J. Wiersig, S. Reitzenstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate correlations between orthogonally polarized cavity modes of a bimodal micropillar laser with a single layer of self-assembled quantum dots in the active region. While one emission mode of the microlaser demonstrates a characteristic S-shaped input-output curve, the output intensity of the second mode saturates and even decreases with increasing injection current above threshold. Measuring the photon autocorrelation function g((2))(tau) of the light emission confirms the onset of lasing in the first mode with g((2))(0) approaching unity above threshold. In contrast, strong photon bunching associated with superthermal values of g((2))(0) is detected for the other mode for currents above threshold. This behavior is attributed to gain competition of the two modes induced by the common gain material, which is confirmed by photon cross-correlation measurements revealing a clear anticorrelation between emission events of the two modes. The experimental studies are in qualitative agreement with theoretical studies based on a microscopic semiconductor theory, which we extend to the case of two modes interacting with the common gain medium. Moreover, we treat the problem by a phenomenological birth-death model extended to two interacting modes, which reveals that the photon probability distribution of each mode has a double-peak structure, indicating switching behavior of the modes for pump rates around threshold.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053819
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Issue number5
Early online date13 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013




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