Optical superfluid phase transitions and trapping of polariton condensates

P. Cristofolini, A. Dreismann, G. Christmann, G. Franchetti, N. G. Berloff, P. Tsotsis, Z. Hatzopoulos, P. G. Savvidis, J. J. Baumberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    118 Citations (Scopus)


    Semiconductor microcavities are used to support freely flowing polariton quantum liquids allowing the direct observation and optical manipulation of macroscopic quantum states. Incoherent optical excitation at a point produces radially expanding condensate clouds within the planar geometry. By using arbitrary configurations of multiple pump spots, we discover a geometrically controlled phase transition, switching from the coherent phase-locking of multiple condensates to the formation of a single trapped condensate. The condensation threshold becomes strongly dependent on the programmed superfluid geometry and sensitive to cooperative interactions between condensates. We directly image persistently circulating superfluid and show how flows of light-matter quasiparticles are dominated by the quantum pressure in such configurable laser-written potential landscapes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number186403
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


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