Committee ChairKhitrova, Galina
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractDifferent aspects of the photoluminescence from semiconductor quantum-confined structures are studied in this dissertation, for a better understanding of fundamental physics of semiconductors.The precursor of any photoluminescence study is the characterization of the linear optical properties of the semiconductor structure. High resolution absorption measurements were performed in order to study the interplay of disorder and acoustic phonon scattering in a quantum well. Also, reflectivity measurements, together with a fitting procedure based on the transfer matrix formalism, are used to determine the thickness of samples.Excitons are atom-like quasi-particles, formed from a bound electron-hole pair. They follow a Bose-Einstein statistic, so in principle it is possible to achieve an excitonic Bose-Einstein condensate. Time resolved photoluminescence measurements were performed over an extensive range of lattice temperatures and carrier concentrations, in order to determine the fraction of excitons formed from the electron-hole plasma in a quantum well, after non-resonant excitation. The experimental spectra were compared to a pure plasma calculation first, then excitons were taken into account. The highest fraction of formed excitons is found for low temperatures and intermediate carrier densities. This fraction is found to be very small, and this has clear implications on the excitonic Bose-Einstein condensation studies.The photoluminescence emitted left and right from a quantum well is interfered in a modified Mach-Zender interferometer. It is shown that the light emitted on the two paths will interfere for a V-shape geometry and will not for any other paths.A structure formed by placing a quantum well in a field antinode of a resonant planar microcavity exhibits normal mode coupling: splitting of the resonance spectral line. The coherence properties of the photoluminescence from a normal-mode-coupling microcavity are studied using another version of the Mach-Zender interferometer. The degree of coherence measured in this way depends greatly on the pump wavelength and intensity, ranging from zero to 0.8. However, direct observation of the emission speckle shows significant coherence in all cases. The difference is explained by the different methods used to evaluate the coherence.The strong coupling between a quantum dot and a photonic crystal nanocavity is investigated by observation of photoluminescence. A new method of tunning the cavity wavelength by deposition of a thin film of solid Xenon on all the surfaces of the sample is presented. The method allows the scanning of the cavity wavelength with about 5 nm without a decrease in the quality factor and without changing the temperature.Finally, an extensive study of the quality factors of quantum dot photonic crystal nanocavities is presented. The role of the quantum dot ensemble absorption is investigated. At higher excitation levels, lasing is observed and discussed.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences