Wannier exciton superradiance in a quantum-well microcavity

Gunnar Björk, Stanley Pau, Joseph Jacobson, Yoshihisa Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Excitonic superradiance has been predicted to induce a rapid decay rate of coherently excited excitons in thin quantum wells and microspheres. In this paper we revisit this problem and derive the enhancement factor of the radiative decay due to superradiant effects. In a GaAs quantum well, the excitonic superradiant radiative decay can be roughly 320 times faster than the decay of a free electron-hole pair. The exciton decay rate depends strongly on the lateral size of the wave function when the size is smaller than the inverse of the wave vector of the emitted light. In a GaAs quantum well this corresponds to a distance of 365. Therefore, it is predicted that localization and elastic phonon scattering may lead to decay rates substantially smaller than that predicted for an ideal quantum well. It is also shown that if the quantum well is placed inside a microcavity, the decay rate can be enhanced even further since the cavity modifies the available density of radiation states in a way that matches the superradiant emission. It is predicted that in a matched dielectric cavity the decay rate can be enhanced by an additional factor of 100, but that inhomogeneous broadening may in practice limit the possible enhancement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17336-17348
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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