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Interacting polaritons in two-dimensional electron systems

Project description

Exploring polariton interactions in 2D electron systems

Funded by the European Research Council, the POLTDES project will investigate the coupling of itinerant electrons to cavity polaritons – fascinating quasiparticles providing a rich playground for studying non-equilibrium condensation and superfluidity. Researchers will explore the complex interplay between cavity polaritons and strongly correlated states in a 2D electron gas. They will seek to achieve polariton-mediated superconductivity and investigate polaritonic signatures of electronic states exhibiting topological order. By harnessing electron-polariton coupling, researchers will enhance polariton-polariton interactions and venture into the polariton blockage regime – where two polaritons are prevented from occupying the same state. This advancement should enable the exploration of non-equilibrium strongly interacting polaritons.


Reversible coupling of excitons and photons in a microcavity leads to the formation of mixed light-matter quasiparticles, called cavity-polaritons. Weakly interacting polaritons constitute a rich system for studying nonequilibrium condensation and superfluidity. While exciton-polaritons have been studied mostly in intrinsic semiconductors with no free electrons, two-dimensional modulation-doped semiconductors with strong interactions between electrons have played a central role in unravelling many-body physics using transport. In this project, we combine these two fields of research and explore the complex interplay between cavity-polaritons and strongly correlated states of two dimensional electrons embedded inside microcavities. Our principal objective is the realization of polariton mediated superconductivity of electrons in gallium arsenide. Besides demonstrating a new mechanism for Cooper-pair formation, such an observation could revolutionize the search for systems that exhibit topological order. In a reciprocal approach, we will exploit the many-body nature of optical excitations in a two-dimensional electron gas to enhance polariton-polariton interactions. This will allow us to reach the polariton blockade regime, paving the way for realization of nonequilibrium strongly interacting polaritons. In parallel, we will explore cavity-magneto-polariton excitations out of fractional quantum Hall ground states: the objective in this part is to use the strong filling factor dependence of polariton splitting to realize nonlinear optical devices which derive their photon-photon interaction from light-absorption induced transition between compressible and incompressible ground states. Concurrently, we will study charged-exciton-polaritons in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides positioned inside a microcavity, where a large polariton Berry-curvature allows for the observation of valley Hall effect and could be used to realize topological polaritons.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 482 250,00
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 482 250,00

Beneficiaries (1)