Nature 453, 372-375 (15 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06979; Received 23 December 2007; Accepted 8 April 2008

A GaAs polariton light-emitting diode operating near room temperature

S. I. Tsintzos1, N. T. Pelekanos1,3, G. Konstantinidis3, Z. Hatzopoulos2,3 & P. G. Savvidis1,3

  1. Department of Materials Science & Technology,
  2. Department of Physics, University of Crete, PO Box 2208, 71003 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  3. Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser, PO Box 1527, 71110 Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Correspondence to: P. G. Savvidis1,3 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to P.G.S. (Email: psav@materials.uoc.gr).

The increasing ability to control light–matter interactions at the nanometre scale has improved the performance of semiconductor lasers in the past decade. The ultimate optimization is realized in semiconductor microcavities, in which strong coupling between quantum-well excitons and cavity photons gives rise to hybrid half-light/half-matter polariton quasiparticles1. The unique properties of polaritons—such as stimulated scattering2, 3, parametric amplification4, 5, 6, lasing7, 8, 9, 10, condensation11, 12, 13 and superfluidity14, 15—are believed to provide the basis for a new generation of polariton emitters and semiconductor lasers. Until now, polariton lasing and nonlinearities have only been demonstrated in optical experiments, which have shown the potential to reduce lasing thresholds by two orders of magnitude compared to conventional semiconductor lasers16. Here we report an experimental realization of an electrically pumped semiconductor polariton light-emitting device, which emits directly from polariton states at a temperature of 235 K. Polariton electroluminescence data reveal characteristic anticrossing between exciton and cavity modes, a clear signature of the strong coupling regime. These findings represent a substantial step towards the realization of ultra-efficient polaritonic devices with unprecedented characteristics.


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