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Quantum Degeneracy at Hand (HANDY-Q)
Start date: Nov 1, 2010, End date: Oct 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Microcavity polaritons are half-light, half-matter composite bosons, which are formed in monolithic semiconductor microcavities of the proper design. Recently, Bose-Einstein condensation of polaritons has been reported, that constitutes a new class of quantum fluid out of equilibrium. Unlike cold atoms, superfluid Helium or superconductors, polaritons are in a driven-dissipative situation, and their mass amounts only to a negligible fraction of an electrons’. This unusual situation has already revealed very interesting phenomena. Moreover, every observables of the polariton fluid, including momentum, energy spectrum and coherence properties are directly accessed via optical spectroscopy experiments.In this project, we will fabricate and investigate new wide band-gap semiconductor nanostructures both capable of taking unprecedented control over the polariton environment, and capable of sustaining very hot and very dense quantum degenerate polariton fluids. Various confinement configurations - two, one and zero-dimensional -will be realized as well as advanced nanostructures based on traps and tunnel barriers. In these peculiar situations, the quantum degenerate polariton fluid will display a new and rich phenomenology. Hence, many premieres will be achieved like room temperature 1D quantum degeneracy, 1D quasi-condensate in solid-state systems, Josephson oscillations of polariton superfluids, and the fascinating Tonks-Girardeau state where strongly interacting bosons are expected to behave like fermions.
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