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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 24;109(17):6467-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1107970109. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Power-law decay of the spatial correlation function in exciton-polariton condensates.

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E. L. Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


We create a large exciton-polariton condensate and employ a Michelson interferometer setup to characterize the short- and long-distance behavior of the first order spatial correlation function. Our experimental results show distinct features of both the two-dimensional and nonequilibrium characters of the condensate. We find that the gaussian short-distance decay is followed by a power-law decay at longer distances, as expected for a two-dimensional condensate. The exponent of the power law is measured in the range 0.9-1.2, larger than is possible in equilibrium. We compare the experimental results to a theoretical model to understand the features required to observe a power law and to clarify the influence of external noise on spatial coherence in nonequilibrium phase transitions. Our results indicate that Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless-like phase order survives in open-dissipative systems.

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