Research ArticleQUANTUM PHYSICS

An exciton-polariton laser based on biologically produced fluorescent protein

Science Advances  19 Aug 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 8, e1600666
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600666

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Abstract

Under adequate conditions, cavity polaritons form a macroscopic coherent quantum state, known as polariton condensate. Compared to Wannier-Mott excitons in inorganic semiconductors, the localized Frenkel excitons in organic emitter materials show weaker interaction with each other but stronger coupling to light, which recently enabled the first realization of a polariton condensate at room temperature. However, this required ultrafast optical pumping, which limits the applications of organic polariton condensates. We demonstrate room temperature polariton condensates of cavity polaritons in simple laminated microcavities filled with biologically produced enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). The unique molecular structure of eGFP prevents exciton annihilation even at high excitation densities, thus facilitating polariton condensation under conventional nanosecond pumping. Condensation is clearly evidenced by a distinct threshold, an interaction-induced blueshift of the condensate, long-range coherence, and the presence of a second threshold at higher excitation density that is associated with the onset of photon lasing.

Keywords
  • Polariton
  • Bose-Einstein
  • condensation
  • fluorescent protein
  • laser

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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