Non-exponential spontaneous emission dynamics for emitters in a time-dependent optical cavity

Henri Thyrrestrup, Alex Hartsuiker, Jean-Michel Gérard, Willem L. Vos

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We have theoretically studied the effect of deterministic temporal control of spontaneous emission in a dynamic optical microcavity. We propose a new paradigm in light emission: we envision an ensemble of two-level emitters in an environment where the local density of optical states is modified on a time scale shorter than the decay time. A rate equation model is developed for the excited state population of two-level emitters in a time-dependent environment in the weak coupling regime in quantum electrodynamics. As a realistic experimental system, we consider emitters in a semiconductor microcavity that is switched by free-carrier excitation. We demonstrate that a short temporal increase of the radiative decay rate depletes the excited state and drastically increases the emission intensity during the switch time. The resulting time-dependent spontaneous emission shows a distribution of photon arrival times that strongly deviates from the usual exponential decay: A deterministic burst of photons is spontaneously emitted during the switch event.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23130-23144
Number of pages14
JournalOptics express
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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