Quantum optical effects in semiconductor microcavities
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Investigations of quantum effects in semiconductor quantum-well microcavities interacting with laser light in the strong-coupling regime are presented. Modifications of quantum fluctuations of the outgoing light are expected due to the non-linearity originating from coherent exciton–exciton scattering. In the strong-coupling regime, this scattering translates into a four-wave mixing interaction between the mixed exciton–photon states, the polaritons. Squeezing and giant amplification of the polariton field and of the outgoing light field fluctuations are predicted. However, polariton–phonon scattering is shown to yield excess noise in the output field, which may destroy the non-classical effects. Experiments demonstrate evidence for giant amplification due to coherent four-wave mixing of polaritons. Noise reduction below the thermal noise level was also observed.