Theory and Modelling of Light-Matter Interactions in Photonic Crystal Cavity Systems Coupled to Quantum Dot Ensembles
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Photonic crystal microcavity quantum dot lasers show promise as high quality-factor, low threshold lasers, that can be integrated on-chip, with tunable room temperature opera- tions. However, such semiconductor microcavity lasers are notoriously difficult to model in a self-consistent way and are primarily modelled by simplified rate equation approxima- tions, typically fit to experimental data, which limits investigations of their optimization and fundamental light-matter interaction processes. Moreover, simple cavity mode optical theory and rate equations have recently been shown to fail in explaining lasing threshold trends in triangular lattice photonic crystal cavities as a function of cavity size, and the potential impact of fabrication disorder is not well understood. In this thesis, we develop a simple but powerful numerical scheme for modelling the quantum dot active layer used for lasing in these photonic crystal cavity structures, as an ensemble of randomly posi- tioned artificial two-level atoms. Each two-level atom is defined by optical Bloch equations solved by a quantum master equation that includes phenomenological pure dephasing and an incoherent pump rate that effectively models a multi-level gain system. Light-matter in- teractions of both passive and lasing structures are analyzed using simulation defined tools and post-simulation Green function techniques. We implement an active layer ensemble of up to 24,000 statistically unique quantum dots in photonic crystal cavity simulations, using a self-consistent finite-difference time-domain method. This method has the distinct advantage of capturing effects such as dipole-dipole coupling and radiative decay, without the need for any phenomenological terms, since the time-domain solution self-consistently captures these effects. Our analysis demonstrates a powerful ability to connect with recent experimental trends, while remaining completely general in its set-up; for example, we do not invoke common approximations such as the rotating-wave or slowly-varying envelope approximations, and solve dynamics with zero a priori knowledge.
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