Nonlinear polariton phenomena in semiconductor microcavities and slab waveguides

Dmitry Krizhanovskii
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RH, United Kingdom

When light propagates through an optically active semiconductor material hybridisation of the optical and electronic excitations (photons and excitons) may occur. This leads to the formation of novel quasi-particles, so-called polaritons. The exciton component in the polariton wavefunction leads to giant repulsive interactions between the two colliding quasi-particles (giant Kerr-like nonlinearity), which enable control of light by light at ultrafast speeds. This is potentially useful for applications in all-optical signal processing. The strong polariton nonlinearity also results in many-body phenomena ranging from superfluid-like behaviour of light to Bose-Einstein condensation and ultra-low power soliton physics which develop on short time- and length-scale at very weak excitation powers. In my talk I am going to review several nonlinear polariton phenomena including backward Cherenkov radiation by polariton solitions, spin domain formation, vortex-vortex generation, polygon pattern formation and spatio-temporal continuum generation [1-5] .


  1. “Spatiotemporal continuum generation in polariton waveguides” PM Walker et al., DN Krizhanovskii Light: Science & Applications 8 (1), 6 (2019)

  2. “Spin domains in one-dimensional conservative polariton solitons” M Sich et al., DN Krizhanovskii ACS Photonics 5 (12), 5095-5102 (2019)

  3. “Backward Cherenkov Radiation Emitted by Polariton Solitons in a Microcavity” D. V. Skryabin, Y. Kartashov, O. Egorov, D. Krizhanovskii, M. Sich, J. Chana, L. E. Tapia-Rodriguez, M. S. Skolnick, P. M. Walker, E. Clarke, and B. Royall. Nature Comm. 8, 1554 (2017)

  4. “Transition from propagating polariton solitons to a standing wave condensate induced by interactions” M Sich, JK Chana, et al., D N Krizhanovskii Phys. Rev. Letters 120 (16), 167402 (2018)

  5. “Ultra-low-power hybrid light–matter solitons”, P. M. Walker, L. Tinkler, D. V. Skryabin et al., and D. N. Krizhanovskii, Nature Comm. 6, 8317 (Oct 2015)