Resonantly enhanced polariton wave mixing and parametric instability in a Floquet medium

Sho Sugiura, Eugene A. Demler, Mikhail Lukin, Daniel Podolsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a new theoretical approach for analyzing pump and probe experiments in non-linear systems of optical phonons. In our approach, the effect of coherently pumped polaritons is modeled as providing time-periodic modulation of the system parameters. Within this framework, propagation of the probe pulse is described by the Floquet version of Maxwell's equations and leads to phenomena such as frequency mixing and resonant parametric production of polariton pairs. We analyze light reflection from a slab of insulating material with a strongly excited phonon-polariton mode and obtain analytic expressions for the frequency-dependent reflection coefficient for the probe pulse. Our results are in agreement with recent experiments by Cartella et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 115, 12148 (2018)], which demonstrated light amplification in a resonantly excited SiC insulator. We show that, beyond a critical pumping strength, such systems should exhibit Floquet parametric instability, which corresponds to resonant scattering of pump polaritons into pairs of finite momentum polaritons. We find that the parametric instability should be achievable in SiC using current experimental techniques and discuss its signatures, including the non-analytic frequency dependence of the reflection coefficient and the probe pulse afterglow. We discuss possible applications of the parametric instability phenomenon and suggest that similar types of instabilities can be present in other photoexcited non-linear systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174110
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - 14 Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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