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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.

Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, well-known for revolutionising photonic science, has been realised primarily in fermionic systems including widely applied diode lasers. The prerequisite for fermionic lasing is the inversion of electronic population, which governs the lasing threshold. More recently, bosonic lasers have also been developed based on Bose-Einstein condensates of exciton-polaritons in semiconductor microcavities. These electrically neutral bosons coexist with charged electrons and holes. In the presence of magnetic fields, the charged particles are bound to their cyclotron orbits, while the neutral exciton-polaritons move freely. We demonstrate how magnetic fields affect dramatically the phase diagram of mixed Bose-Fermi systems, switching between fermionic lasing, incoherent emission and bosonic lasing regimes in planar and pillar microcavities with optical and electrical pumping. We collected and analyzed the data taken on pillar and planar microcavity structures at continuous wave and pulsed optical excitation as well as injecting electrons and holes electronically. Our results evidence the transition from a Bose gas to a Fermi liquid mediated by magnetic fields and light-matter coupling.

One of the most intricate issues of nuclear power is the long-term safety of repositories for radioactive waste. These repositories can have an impact on future generations for a period of time orders of magnitude longer than any known civilization. Several countries have considered copper as an outer corrosion barrier for canisters containing spent nuclear fuel. Among the many processes that must be considered in the safety assessments, radiation induced processes constitute a key-component. Here we show that copper metal immersed in water uptakes considerable amounts of hydrogen when exposed to γ-radiation. Additionally we show that the amount of hydrogen absorbed by copper depends on the total dose of radiation. At a dose of 69 kGy the uptake of hydrogen by metallic copper is 7 orders of magnitude higher than when the absorption is driven by H\(_{2}\)(g) at a pressure of 1 atm in a non-irradiated dry system. Moreover, irradiation of copper in water causes corrosion of the metal and the formation of a variety of surface cavities, nanoparticle deposits, and islands of needle-shaped crystals. Hence, radiation enhanced uptake of hydrogen by spent nuclear fuel encapsulating materials should be taken into account in the safety assessments of nuclear waste repositories.

Reduced dimensionality and symmetry breaking at interfaces lead to unusual local magnetic configurations, such as glassy behavior, frustration or increased anisotropy. The interface between a ferromagnet and an antiferromagnet is such an example for enhanced symmetry breaking. Here we present detailed X-ray magnetic circular dichroism and X-ray resonant magnetic reflectometry investigations on the spectroscopic nature of uncompensated pinned magnetic moments in the antiferromagnetic layer of a typical exchange bias system. Unexpectedly, the pinned moments exhibit nearly pure orbital moment character. This strong orbital pinning mechanism has not been observed so far and is not discussed in literature regarding any theory for local magnetocrystalline anisotropy energies in magnetic systems. To verify this new phenomenon we investigated the effect at different temperatures. We provide a simple model discussing the observed pure orbital moments, based on rotatable spin magnetic moments and pinned orbital moments on the same atom. This unexpected observation leads to a concept for a new type of anisotropy energy.

In a standard semiconductor laser, electrons and holes recombine via stimulated emission to emit coherent light, in a process that is far from thermal equilibrium. Exciton-polariton condensates–sharing the same basic device structure as a semiconductor laser, consisting of quantum wells coupled to a microcavity–have been investigated primarily at densities far below the Mott density for signatures of Bose-Einstein condensation. At high densities approaching the Mott density, exciton-polariton condensates are generally thought to revert to a standard semiconductor laser, with the loss of strong coupling. Here, we report the observation of a photoluminescence sideband at high densities that cannot be accounted for by conventional semiconductor lasing. This also differs from an upper-polariton peak by the observation of the excitation power dependence in the peak-energy separation. Our interpretation as a persistent coherent electron-hole-photon coupling captures several features of this sideband, although a complete understanding of the experimental data is lacking. A full understanding of the observations should lead to a development in non-equilibrium many-body physics.

We present evidence for the existence of a hybrid state of Tamm plasmons and microcavity exciton polaritons in a II-VI material based microcavity sample covered with an Ag metal layer. The bare cavity mode shows a characteristic anticrossing with the Tamm-plasmon mode, when microreflectivity measurements are performed for different detunings between the Tamm plasmon and the cavity mode. When the Tamm-plasmon mode is in resonance with the cavity polariton four hybrid eigenstates are observed due to the coupling of the cavity-photon mode, the Tamm-plasmon mode, and the heavy- and light-hole excitons. If the bare Tamm-plasmon mode is tuned, these resonances will exhibit three anticrossings. Experimental results are in good agreement with calculations based on the transfer matrix method as well as on the coupled-oscillators model. The lowest hybrid eigenstate is observed to be red shifted by about 13 meV with respect to the lower cavity polariton state when the Tamm plasmon is resonantly coupled with the cavity polariton. This spectral shift which is caused by the metal layer can be used to create a trapping potential channel for the polaritons. Such channels can guide the polariton propagation similar to one-dimensional polariton wires.

Diabolical points (spectral degeneracies) can naturally occur in spectra of two-dimensional quantum systems and classical wave resonators due to simple symmetries. Geometric Berry phase is associated with these spectral degeneracies. Here, we demonstrate a diabolical point and the corresponding Berry phase in the spectrum of hybrid light-matter quasiparticles—exciton-polaritons in semiconductor microcavities. It is well known that sufficiently strong optical pumping can drive exciton-polaritons to quantum degeneracy, whereby they form a macroscopically populated quantum coherent state similar to a Bose-Einstein condensate. By pumping a microcavity with a spatially structured light beam, we create a two-dimensional quantum billiard for the exciton-polariton condensate and demonstrate a diabolical point in the spectrum of the billiard eigenstates. The fully reconfigurable geometry of the potential walls controlled by the optical pump enables a striking experimental visualization of the Berry phase associated with the diabolical point. The Berry phase is observed and measured by direct imaging of the macroscopic exciton-polariton probability densities.

Main focus of the present dissertation was to gain new insight about the interaction between magnetic ions and the conduction band of diluted magnetic semiconductors. This interaction in magnetic semiconductors with carrier concentrations near the metal-insulator transition (MIT) in an external magnetic field is barely researched. Hence, n-doped Zn1−xMnxSe:Cl samples were studied.
Resonant Raman spectroscopy was employed at an external magnetic field between 1T and 7T and a temperature of 1.5K.
The resulting magnetization of the material amplifies the splitting of states with opposite spins both in the valence and the conduction band. This is known as the "giant-Zeeman-effect".
In this thesis, the resonance of the electron spin flip process, i.e. the enhancement of the signal depending on the excitation energy, was used as an indicator to determine the density of states of the charge carriers. The measured resonance profiles of each sample showed a structure, which consist of two partially overlapping Gaussian curves. The analysis of the Gaussian curves revealed that their respective maxima are separated independent of the magnetic field strenght by about 5 meV, which matches the binding energy of the donor bound exciton (D0, X).
A widening of the full width at half maximum of the resonance profile was observed with increasing magnetic field. A detailed analysis of this behavior showed that the donor bound exciton spin flip resonance primarily accounts for the widening for all samples with doping concentrations below the metal insulator transition. A model was proposed for the interpretation of this observation.
This is based on the fundamental assumptions of a spatially random distribution of the manganese ions on the group-II sublattice of the ZnSe crystal and the finite extension of the excitons. Thus, each exciton covers an individual quantity of manganese ions, which manifest as a local manganese concentration. This local manganese concentration is normally distributed for a set of excitons and hence, the evaluation of the distribution allows the determination of exciton radii
Two trends were identified for the (D0, X) radii. The radius of the bound exciton decreases with increasing carrier concentration as well as with increasing manganese concentration. The determination of the (D0, X) radii by the use of resonant spin flip Raman spectroscopy and also the observation of the behavior of the (D0, X) radius depending on the carrier concentration, was achieved for the first time.
For all samples with carrier concentrations below the metal-insulator transition, the obtained (X0) radii are up to a factor of 5.9 larger than the respective (D0, X) radii. This observation is explained by the unbound character of the (X0).
For the first time, such an observation could be made by Raman spectroscopy.Beside the resonance studies, the shape of the Raman signal of the electron spin flip was analyzed. Thereby an obvious asymmetry of the signal, with a clear flank to lower Raman shifts, was observed. This asymmetry is most pronounced, when the spin flip process is excited near the (D0, X) resonance.
To explain this observation, a theoretical model was introduced in this thesis. Based on the asymmetry of the resonantly excited spin flip signal, it was possible to estimate the (D0, X) radii, too. At external magnetic fields between 1.25T and 7T, the obtained radii lie between 2.38nm and 2.75nm.
Additionally, the asymmetry of the electron spin flip signal was observed at different excitation energies. Here it is striking that the asymmetry vanishes with increasing excitation energy. At the highest excitation energy, where the electron spin flip was still detectable, the estimated radius of the exciton is 3.92nm.
Beside the observations on the electron spin flip, the resonance behavior of the spin flip processes in the d-shell of the incorporated Mn ions was studied in this thesis. This was performed for the direct Mn spin flip process as well as for the sum process of the longitudinal optical phonon with the Mn spin flip. For the Stokes and anti-Stokes direct spin flip process and for the Stokes sum process, each the resonance curve is described by considering only one resonance mechanism. In contrast, resonance for the sum process in which an anti-Stokes Mn spin flip is involved, consists of two partially overlapping resonances due to different mechanisms. A detailed analysis of this resonance profile showed that for (Zn,Mn)Se at the chosen experimental parameters, an
incoming and outgoing resonance can be achieved, separated by a few meV.
Hereby, at a specific excitation energy range and a high excitation power, it was possible to achieve an inversion of the anti-Stokes to Stokes intensity, because only the anti-Stokes Mn spin flip process was enhanced resonantly.

The rich phase diagram of transition metal oxides essentially roots in the many body physics arising from strong Coulomb interactions within the underlying electron system.
Understanding such electronic correlation effects remains challenging for modern solid state physics, therefore experimental data is required for further progress in the field. For this reason, spectroscopic investigations of prototypical correlated materials are the scope of this thesis. The experimental methods focus on photoelectron spectroscopy, and the test materials are the correlated metal SrVO\(_3\) and the Mott insulator LaTiO\(_3\), both of which are fabricated as high quality thin films.
In SrVO\(_3\) thin films, a reduction of the film thickness induces a dimensional crossover from the metallic into the Mott insulating phase. In this thesis, an extrinsic chemical contribution from a surface over-oxidation is revealed that emerges additionally to the intrinsic change of the effective bandwidth usually identified to drive the transition. The two contributions are successfully disentangled by applying a capping layer that prevents the oxidation, allowing for a clean view on the dimensional crossover in fully stoichiometric samples. Indeed, these stoichiometric layers exhibit a higher critical thickness for the onset of the metallic phase than the bare and therefore over-oxidized thin films.
For LaTiO\(_3\) thin films, the tendency to over-oxidize is even stronger. An uncontrolled oxygen diffusion from the substrate into the film is found to corrupt the electronic properties of LaTiO\(_3\) layers grown on SrTiO\(_3\). The Mott insulating phase is only detected in stoichiometric films fabricated on more suitable DyScO\(_3\) substrates. In turn, it is demonstrated that a \(controlled\) incorporation of excess oxygen ions by increasing the oxygen growth pressure is an effective way of \(p\) doping the material which is used to drive the band filling induced Mott transition.
Gaining control of the oxygen stoichiometry in both materials allows for a systematic investigation of correlation effects in general and of the Mott transition in particular. The investigations are realized by various photoelectron spectroscopy techniques that provide a deep insight into the electronic structure. Resonant photoemission not only gives access to the titanium and vanadium related partial density of states of the valence band features, but also shows how the corresponding signal is enhanced by tuning the photon energy to the \(L\) absorption threshold. The enhanced intensity turns out to be very helpful for probing the Fermi surface topology and band dispersions by means of angular-resolved photoemission. The resulting momentum resolved electronic structure verifies central points of the theoretical description of the Mott transition, viz. the renormalization of the band width and a constant Luttinger volume in a correlated metal as the Mott phase is approached.

In the past few years, two-dimensional quantum liquids with fractional excitations have been a topic of high interest due to their possible application in the emerging field of quantum computation and cryptography. This thesis is devoted to a deeper understanding of known and new fractional quantum Hall states and their stabilization in local models. We pursue two different paths, namely chiral spin liquids and fractionally quantized, topological phases.
The chiral spin liquid is one of the few examples of spin liquids with fractional statistics. Despite its numerous promising properties, the microscopic models for this state proposed so far are all based on non-local interactions, making the experimental realization challenging. In the first part of this thesis, we present the first local parent Hamiltonians, for which the Abelian and non-Abelian chiral spin liquids are the exact and, modulo a topological degeneracy, unique ground states. We have developed a systematic approach to find an annihilation operator of the chiral spin liquid and construct from it a many-body interaction which establishes locality. For various system sizes and lattice geometries, we numerically find largely gapped eigenspectra and confirm to an accuracy of machine precision the uniqueness of the chiral spin liquid as ground state of the respective system. Our results provide an exact spin model in which fractional quantization can be studied.
Topological insulators are one of the most actively studied topics in current condensed matter physics research. With the discovery of the topological insulator, one question emerged: Is there an interaction-driven set of fractionalized phases with time reversal symmetry? One intuitive approach to the theoretical construction of such a fractional topological insulator is to take the direct product of a fractional quantum Hall state and its time reversal conjugate. However, such states are well studied conceptually and do not lead to new physics, as the idea of taking a state and its mirror image together without any entanglement between the states has been well understood in the context of topological insulators. Therefore, the community has been looking for ways to implement some topological interlocking between different spin species. Yet, for all practical purposes so far, time reversal symmetry has appeared to limit the set of possible fractional states to those with no interlocking between the two spin species.
In the second part of this thesis, we propose a new universality class of fractionally quantized, topologically ordered insulators, which we name “fractional insulator”. Inspired by the fractional quantum Hall effect, spin liquids, and fractional Chern insulators, we develop a wave function approach to a new class of topological order in a two-dimensional crystal of spin-orbit coupled electrons. The idea is simply to allow the topological order to violate time reversal symmetry, while all locally observable quantities remain time reversal invariant. We refer to this situation as “topological time reversal symmetry breaking”. Our state is based on the Halperin double layer states and can be viewed as a two-layer system of an ↑-spin and a ↓-spin sphere. The construction starts off with Laughlin states for the ↑-spin and ↓-spin electrons and an interflavor term, which creates correlations between the two layers. With a careful parameter choice, we obtain a state preserving time reversal symmetry locally, and label it the “311-state”. For systems of up to six ↑-spin and six ↓-spin electrons, we manage to construct an approximate parent Hamiltonian with a physically realistic, local interaction.