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The road towards polaritonic devices

Abstract

Polaritons are quasiparticles that form in semiconductors when an elementary excitation such as an exciton or a phonon interacts sufficiently strongly with light. In particular, exciton–polaritons have attracted tremendous attention for their unique properties, spanning from an ability to undergo ultra-efficient four-wave mixing to superfluidity in the condensed state. These quasiparticles possess strong intrinsic nonlinearities, while keeping most characteristics of the underlying photons. Here we review the most important features of exciton–polaritons in microcavities, with a particular emphasis on the emerging technological applications, the use of new materials for room-temperature operation, and the possibility of exploiting polaritons for quantum computation and simulation.

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Figure 1: Microcavity polaritons.
Figure 2: Schematic representation of bistable behaviour under resonant excitation.
Figure 3: Polariton lasers.
Figure 4: Polariton transistors and gates.
Figure 5: Quantum behaviour of polaritons.

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Acknowledgements

We thank E. Cancellieri for providing the theoretical S-shape plot in Fig. 2 and R. Butté for helpful discussions. Special thanks to F. P. Laussy for his valuable suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the ERC POLAFLOW project and the NSERC Discovery Grant programme.

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Sanvitto, D., Kéna-Cohen, S. The road towards polaritonic devices. Nature Mater 15, 1061–1073 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat4668

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