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Nature. 2006 Apr 13;440(7086):904-7.

Parametric oscillation in vertical triple microcavities.

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Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, Ecole Normale SupƩrieure, 24 rue Lhomond, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Optical parametric oscillation is a nonlinear process that enables coherent generation of 'signal' and 'idler' waves, shifted in frequency from the pump wave. Efficient parametric conversion is the paradigm for the generation of twin or entangled photons for quantum optics applications such as quantum cryptography, or for the generation of new frequencies in spectral domains not accessible by existing devices. Rapid development in the field of quantum information requires monolithic, alignment-free sources that enable efficient coupling into optical fibres and possibly electrical injection. During the past decade, much effort has been devoted to the development of integrated devices for quantum information and to the realization of all-semiconductor parametric oscillators. Nevertheless, at present optical parametric oscillators typically rely on nonlinear crystals placed into complex external cavities, and pumped by powerful external lasers. Long interaction lengths are typically required and the phase mismatch between the parametric waves propagating at different velocities results in poor parametric conversion efficiencies. Here we report the demonstration of parametric oscillation in a monolithic semiconductor triple microcavity with signal, pump and idler waves propagating along the vertical direction of the nanostructure. Alternatively, signal and idler beams can also be collected at finite angles, allowing the generation of entangled photon pairs. The pump threshold intensity is low enough to envisage the realization of an all-semiconductor electrically pumped micro-parametric oscillator.


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