What sets this development apart is the ability to manipulate polariton condensates without relying on the commonly utilized excitation profiles of polaritons. The scientists accomplished this feat by introducing an additional layer of copolymer within the cavity — a weakly coupled layer that remains nonresonant to the cavity mode. This seemingly simple yet incredibly ingenious move has opened the door to a wealth of possibilities.
By partially saturating the optical absorption in this uncoupled semiconductor layer using a two-color beam excitation, the researchers have enabled ultrafast modulation of the effective refractive index simultaneously with the formation of a polariton condensate. Through the marvel of excited-state absorption, they have unlocked the secrets of locally induced polariton dissipation. The intricate interplay of these mechanisms, like pieces of a beautifully designed puzzle, has given rise to unparalleled control over the spatial profile, density, and energy of a polariton condensate — all at room temperature.
“This breakthrough ushers in a new era of the organic polariton platforms designed to build a strong foundation for the field of liquid light computing at ambient conditions. By taming fascinating properties of strong light-matter interactions, we can harness the full potential of polaritons and break free from the constraints of traditional cavity architectures. We are witnessing the future of technology unfold before our very eyes,” says Anton Putintsev, a research scientist at Skoltech’s Laboratory of Hybrid Photonics and the driving mind behind this work.