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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Mar 18;106(11):115301. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Probing the dynamics of spontaneous quantum vortices in polariton superfluids.

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  • 1Institute of Condensed Matter Physics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.


The experimental investigation of spontaneously created vortices is of utmost importance for the understanding of quantum phase transitions towards a superfluid phase, especially for two-dimensional systems that are expected to be governed by the Berezinski-Kosterlitz-Thouless physics. By means of time-resolved near-field interferometry we track the path of such vortices, created at random locations in an exciton-polariton condensate under pulsed nonresonant excitation, to their final pinning positions imposed by the stationary disorder. We formulate a theoretical model that successfully reproduces the experimental observations.

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