Observation of nonequilibrium motion and equilibration in polariton rings

Mukherjee, S. and Myers, D. M. and Lena, R. G. and Ozden, B. and Beaumariage, J. and Sun, Z. and Steger, M. and Pfeiffer, L. N. and West, K. and Daley, A. J. and Snoke, D. W. (2019) Observation of nonequilibrium motion and equilibration in polariton rings. Physical Review B, 100 (24). 245304. ISSN 2469-9950 (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.100.245304)

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We present a study of the macroscopic dynamics of a polariton condensate formed by nonresonant optical excitation in a quasi-one-dimensional ring-shaped microcavity. The presence of a gradient in the cavity photon energy creates a macroscopic trap for the polaritons in which a coherent condensate is formed which evolves into a single-mode condensate at late times. With time- and energy-resolved imaging we show the role of interactions in the motion of the condensate as it undergoes equilibration in the ring. These experiments also give a direct measurement of the polariton-polariton interaction strength above the condensation threshold. Our observations are compared to the open-dissipative one-dimensional Gross-Pitaevskii equation which shows excellent qualitative agreement.