Quantized vortices in an exciton-polariton condensate

Year: 2008

Authors: Lagoudakis K.G., Wouters M., Richard M., Baas A., Carusotto I., Andre R., Dang L.S., Deveaud-Pledran B.

Autors Affiliation: IPEQ, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne(EPFL), Station 3, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland;
TFVS, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerpen, Belgium;
Institut Néel, CNRS, 25 Avenue des Martyrs, 38042 Grenoble, France;
INFM-CNR BEC and Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Trento, via Sommarive 14 38050 Povo (Trento) ITALY

Abstract: One of the most striking quantum effects in an interacting Bose gas at low temperature is superfluidity. First observed in liquid He-4, this phenomenon has been intensively studied in a variety of systems for its remarkable features such as the persistence of superflows and the proliferation of quantized vortices(1). The achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute atomic gases(2) provided the opportunity to observe and study superfluidity in an extremely clean and well-controlled environment. In the solid state, Bose-Einstein condensation of exciton polaritons has been reported recently(3-6). Polaritons are strongly interacting light-matter quasiparticles that occur naturally in semiconductor microcavities in the strong-coupling regime and constitute an interesting example of composite bosons. Here, we report the observation of spontaneous formation of pinned quantized vortices in the Bose-condensed phase of a polariton fluid. Theoretical insight into the possible origin of such vortices is presented in terms of a generalized Gross-Pitaevskii equation. Whereas the observation of quantized vortices is, in itself, not sufficient for establishing the superfluid nature of the non-equilibrium polariton condensate, it suggests parallels between our system and conventional superfluids.

Journal/Review: NATURE PHYSICS

Volume: 4 (9)      Pages from: 706  to: 711

More Information: We thank D. Sarchi, V. Savona, B. Pietka, J. Tempere and J. Devreese for fruitful discussions. The work was supported by the Swiss National Research Foundation through
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1051

Citations: 515
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