Properties of nanolasers based on few discrete emitters

Anders Mølbjerg Lund, Per Kær Nielsen, Michael Lorke, Bjarne Tromborg, Jesper Mørk

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    The laser has evolved from table size apparatuses to truly nano sized devices, in much the same way that computer chips have been continuously minimized. The few-emitter nanolaser represents an extreme in terms of size. The emitters can be either atoms or quantum dots, and they are coupled to a high-Q optical cavity. This system has previously been studied for the one and two emitters case, see e.g. [1, 2]. The emitters and cavity are modelled as two-level systems and a harmonic oscillator, respectively. The coupled system is modelled using the Jaynes-Cummings Hamiltonian and the two-level systems are pumped incoherently by a rate P. Solutions are found using the corresponding master equation. However, with cavity populations exceeding 100 and several emitters, the dimension of the Hilbert space of the system becomes too large to handle efficiently on a conventional computer. E.g. for four emitters and 100 photon states the density matrix has more than 2.5 × 106 elements.
    We have been able to simplify the problem significantly by adiabatically eliminating the photon-assisted polarizations and the correlations between emitters and cavity [3]. This results in a set of rate equations for the population of the cavity, na, and the occupation of the emitters. Fig. 1a) shows na for up to 4 emitters coupled to a cavity, as a function of the pumping rate P. The figure also shows results from a full master equation solution, and the correspondence is very good for large values of P. In Fig. 1b) the second order correlation functions g(2)(0) are shown, as obtained using the full model. The second order correlation functions become 1 for sufficiently large values of P signifying the onset of lasing. However, for larger values of P the laser quenches and the emission becomes chaotic (g(2)(0) = 2). This quenching effect is well-known in two-level models [3], but might not be realistic for semiconductor quantum dots.
    A proposed application for these nanolasers is in on-chip optical interconnects. In this application the modulation bandwidth is important. We have calculated the modulation bandwidth using a small-signal analysis of the rate equations, which has the advantage compared the full model of yielding a semianalytical result. The results are shown in Fig. 1c). The nanolaser has a high bandwidth, which is mostly limited by the cavity lifetime (/ 1/), but shows a prominent drop during the lasing regime. The modulation bandwidth again becomes limited by as the output becomes chaotic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication11th International Workshop on Nonlinear Optics and Excitation Kinetics in Semiconductors
    Number of pages1
    Publication date2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event11th International Workshop on Nonlinear Optics and Excitation Kinetics in Semiconductors (NOEKS) - University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
    Duration: 23 Sept 201227 Sept 2012


    Conference11th International Workshop on Nonlinear Optics and Excitation Kinetics in Semiconductors (NOEKS)
    LocationUniversity of Stuttgart
    Internet address

    Bibliographical note

    Poster presentation P35.


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