Semiconductor microcavities offer unique means of controlling light-matter interactions in confined geometries, resulting in a wide range of applications in optical communications and inspiring proposals for quantum information processing and computational schemes. Studies of spin dynamics in microcavities, a new and promising research field, have revealed effects such as polarization beats, stimulated spin scattering and giant Faraday rotation. Here, we study the electron spin dynamics in optically pumped GaAs microdisc lasers with quantum wells and interface-fluctuation quantum dots in the active region. In particular, we examine how the electron spin dynamics are modified by the stimulated emission in the discs, and observe an enhancement of the spin-coherence time when the optical excitation is in resonance with a high-quality (Q ∼ 5,000) lasing mode. This resonant enhancement, contrary to expectations from the observed trend in the carrier-recombination time, is then manipulated by altering the cavity design and dimensions. In analogy with devices based on excitonic coherence, this ability to engineer coherent interactions between electron spins and photons may provide new pathways towards spin-dependent quantum optoelectronics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering