Reversing the Pump-Dependence of a Laser at an Exceptional Point

M. Brandstetter, M. Liertzer, C. Deutsch, P. Klang, J. Schöberl, H. E. Türeci, G. Strasser, K. Unterrainer, S. Rotter

When two resonant modes in a system with gain or loss coalesce in both their resonance position and their width, a so-called “Exceptional Point” occurs which acts as a source of non-trivial physics in a diverse range of systems. Lasers provide a natural setting to study such “non-Hermitian degeneracies”, since they feature resonant modes and a gain material as their basic constituents. Here we show that Exceptional Points can be conveniently induced in a photonic molecule laser by a suitable variation of the applied pump. Using a pair of coupled micro-disk quantum cascade lasers, we demonstrate that in the vicinity of these Exceptional Points the laser shows a characteristic reversal of its pump-dependence, including a strongly decreasing intensity of the emitted laser light for increasing pump power. This result establishes photonic molecule lasers as promising tools for exploring many further fascinating aspects of Exceptional Points, like a strong line-width enhancement and the coherent perfect absorption of light in their vicinity as well as non-trivial mode-switching and the accumulation of a geometric phase when encircling an Exceptional Point parametrically.
Optics (physics.optics); Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics (cond-mat.mes-hall); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

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