We demonstrate that intersubband (ISB) polaritons are robust to inhomogeneous effects originating from the presence of multiple quantum wells (MQWs). In a series of samples that exhibit mid-infrared ISB absorption transitions with broadenings varying by a factor of 5 (from 4 to 20 meV), we observed polariton linewidths always lying in the 4 to 7 meV range only. We experimentally verified the dominantly inhomogeneous origin of the broadening of the ISB transition, and that the linewidth reduction effect of the polariton modes persists up to room-temperature. This immunity to inhomogeneous broadening is a direct consequence of the coupling of the large number of ISB oscillators to a single photonic mode. It is a precious tool to gauge the natural linewidth of the ISB plasmon that is otherwise masked in such MQWs system, and is also beneficial in view of perspective applications such as intersubband polariton lasers.
Online Access: Physical Review B
We report experimental evidence of longitudinal optical (LO) phonon-intersubband polariton scattering processes under resonant injection of light. The scattering process is resonant with both the initial (upper polariton) and final (lower polariton) states and is induced by the interaction of confined electrons with longitudinal optical phonons. The system is optically pumped with a mid-IR laser tuned between 1094 cm-1 and 1134 cm-1
(lambda=9.14 µm and lambda=8.82 µm). The demonstration is provided for both GaAs/AlGaAs and InGaAs/AlInAs doped quantum well systems whose intersubband plasmon lies at circa 10 µm wavelength. In addition to elucidating the microscopic mechanism of the polariton-phonon scattering, that is found to differ substantially from the standard single particle electron-LO phonon scattering mechanism, this work constitutes the first step towards the hopefully forthcoming demonstration of an intersubband polariton laser.