La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento
Year 2010 - Issue 5 - May
Coherent optical spectroscopy of semiconductor nanostructures
Abstract: Coherent optical spectroscopy of semiconductor nanostructures is a well-established field with several decades of history. This contribution discusses the selected topics of imaging spectroscopy, speckle analysis, and four-wave mixing. Imaging spectroscopy is getting increasingly popular due to the availability of suited detectors, and for the intuition for the physics behind the data provoked by a two- or three-dimensional view on the measured quantities. A general discussion on the optical imaging and detector requirements is presented, followed by examples concerning microcavity polaritons in spectral and time domain as well as in real space and reciprocal space. Speckle analysis is a linear optical technique conceived a decade ago capable of extracting microscopic properties such as dephasing from ensembles of localized optical excitations even in the presence of inhomogeneous broadening. Four-wave mixing is a well-known technique of coherent spectroscopy, which in the last decade has been improved by the introduction of heterodyne detection and spectral interferometry, enabling to investigate quantum wires and quantum dots, both in ensembles and also for individual localized transitions.