The optical properties of semiconductor quantum wells embedded in one-dimensional photonic crystal structures are analyzed by a self-consistent solution of Maxwell's equations and a microscopic many-body theory of the material excitations. For a field mode spectrally below the photonic band edge it is shown that the optical absorption and gain are enhanced, exceeding by more than 1 order of magnitude the values of a homogeneous medium. For the photonic crystal structure inside a microcavity the gain increases superlinearly with the number of wells and for more than five wells exceeds the gain of a corresponding vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(000.6800) General : Theoretical physics
(130.5990) Integrated optics : Semiconductors
(140.5960) Lasers and laser optics : Semiconductor lasers
(250.7260) Optoelectronics : Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers
Bernhard Pasenow, Matthias Reichelt, Tineke Stroucken, Torsten Meier, Stephan W. Koch, Aramis R. Zakharian, and Jerome V. Moloney, "Enhanced light-matter interaction in semiconductor heterostructures embedded in one-dimensional photonic crystals," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22, 2039-2048 (2005)