Nonequilibrium many-body effects in semiconductor microlasers
The improved semiconductor manufacturing capabilities make it possible to produce tiny semiconductor lasers with micrometer cavity dimensions. Ideally, these microlasers are the optical analogy of micromasers, which allow experimentalists to investigate many aspects of quantum cavity electrodynamics. In this paper we review the quantum mechanical theory of semiconductor microlasers. We analyze the coupled system of carriers and photons under laser conditions applying a microscopic theory that describes the spectral interplay of stimulated and spontaneous emission and the cavity loss. The nonequilibrium dynamics of the carrier system is modelled by a Boltzmann equation which includes carrierphoton, carrier-carrier and carrier-phonon scattering. We numerically evaluate the theory to analyze the microlaser switch-on dynamics, development of lasing out of spontaneous emission, dynamic and stationary nonequilibrium carrier distributions, carrier heating through pumping and lasing, and the effects resulting from the increased copuling efficiency of the spontaneous emission into the laser mode.
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