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A04: Nonlinear cavity polariton physics for functional photonic elements

Dr. Xuekai Ma
Sketch of a planar quantum well semiconductor microcavity under the excitation of a ring-shaped pump (above). Density (bottom left) and phase (bottom right) distributions of a vortex solution.

Dr. Xuekai Ma, AG Schumacher

What is the challenge of my research project? Why am I eager to do it?
Microcavity exciton-polaritons are half-light half-matter quasi-particles. They are composed of quantum well excitons and cavity photons and have strong nonlinearity. Under non-resonant excitation, they can undergo a non-equilibrium phase transition with similarities to Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC), potentially even up to room temperature.

Why did I choose this project?
One of the main aims of this project is to investigate the nonlinear phenomena and optical control of exciton-polariton condensates in semiconductor microcavities. As topological objects, vortices can be non-resonantly created by ring-shaped pumps and their topological charges can be optically controlled by either resonant or non-resonant pulses. The precise control of topological elements is significant for exploring the potential application of polaritonic devices in all-optical switching, information processing, storage, and communication.


  1. X. Ma and S. Schumacher, “Vortex Multistability and Bessel Vortices in Polariton Condensates”, Phys. Rev. Letts. 121, 227404 (2018).
  2. X. Ma, O. A. Egorov, and S. Schumacher, “Creation and Manipulation of Stable Dark Solitons and Vortices in Microcavity Polariton Condensates”, Phys. Rev. Letts. 118, 157401 (2017).
  3. X. Ma and S. Schumacher, “Vortex-vortex control in exciton-polariton condensates”, Phys. Rev. B 95, 235301 (2017).
  4. X. Ma, U. Peschel, and O. A. Egorov, “Incoherent control of topological charges in nonequilibrium polariton condensates”, Phys. Rev. B 93, 035315 (2016).