A detailed study of the structural disorder in wedge semiconductor microcavities (MC's) is presented. We demonstrate that images of the coherent emission from the MC surface can be used for a careful characterization of both intrinsic and extrinsic optical properties of semiconductor MC's. The polariton broadening can be measured directly, avoiding the well-known problem of inhomogeneous broadening due to the MC wedge. A statistical analysis of the spatial line shape of the images of the MC surface shows the presence of static disorder associated with dielectric fluctuations in the Bragg reflector. Moreover, the presence of local fluctuations of the effective cavity length can be detected with subnanometer resolution. The analysis of the resonant Rayleigh scattering (RRS) gives additional information on the origin of the disorder. We find that the RRS is dominated by the scattering of the photonic component of the MC polariton by disorder in the Bragg reflector. Also the RRS is strongly enhanced along the  and  directions. This peculiar scattering pattern is attributed to misfit dislocations induced by the large thickness of the mismatched A1GaAs alloy in the Bragg mirrors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Oct 15 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics