Destruction and recurrence of excitons by acoustic shock waves on picosecond time scales

T. Berstermann, C. Brüggemann, A. V. Akimov, M. Bombeck, D. R. Yakovlev, N. A. Gippius, A. V. Scherbakov, I. Sagnes, J. Bloch, M. Bayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


High intensity ultrafast acoustics is a powerful tool to modulate excitons in semiconductors on picosecond time scales. Here we give a particular example for the potential of this technique by demonstrating ultrafast destruction of exciton states with their subsequent, similarly fast recurrence, making the method's impact volatile, in stark contrast to other techniques. The origin of the destruction is strain modulation of single particle states on time scales so short that their contribution to exciton formation is hindered. This is demonstrated for an exciton confined in a quantum well, which is placed in a high quality microresonator. For this system the strong light-matter interaction leads to the formation of polaritons. The itinerant exciton destruction enforces a transfer to the weak coupling regime with fast subsequent recovery of strong coupling. Thereby a tool for controlling light-matter coupling in condensed matter systems has been realized, which may be of interest for emerging fields such as exciton polaritonics and quantum optics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195306
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


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