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Bimodal behavior of microlasers investigated with a two-channel photon-number-resolving transition-edge sensor system

Schmidt, Marco; Grothe, Isa Hedda; Neumeier, Sergej; Bremer, Lucas; Helversen, Martin von; Zent, Wenera; Melcher, Boris; Beyer, Jörn; Schneider, Christian; Höfling, Sven; Wiersig, Jan; Reitzenstein, Stephan

AG Optoelektronik und Quantenbauelemente

We explore the photon-number distribution of bimodal quantum-dot micropillar lasers with a two-channel transition-edge sensor (TES) detection system. The two channels of the photon-number-resolving TES system simultaneously detect light emission of two orthogonal components of the micropillar's fundamental emission mode. The applied experimental scheme provides unprecedented access to the joint photon-number distribution and enables a profound insight into the dynamics and photon statistics of the gain-coupled mode components. In particular, the two-channel TES measurements reveal an optical bistability of the correlated laser modes leading to temporal hopping between emission associated with Poissonian and thermal-like emission statistics. The experimental data and theoretical modeling based on Monte Carlo simulations are in good agreement and reveal the anticorrelated behavior of the mode hopping, which results in intensity fluctuations and superthermal values of the autocorrelation function. Our investigations clearly demonstrate the great benefit of using photon-number-resolving detectors in nanophotonics to explore the rich physics of multimode micro- and nanolasers.