Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

Committee Chair

Alan D Bristow

Committee Co-Chair

Loren D Anderson

Committee Member

Alan D Bristow

Committee Member

Fabien Goulay

Committee Member

James P Lewis

Committee Member

Tudor D Stanescu


Light-matter interactions associated with excitons and exciton related complexes are explored in bulk GaAs and semiconductor microcavities using multidimensional coherent spectroscopy (MDCS). This approach provides rich spectra determining quantum excitation pathways, structural influences on the excitons, and coherence times.;Polarization, excitation density, and temperature-dependent MDCS is performed on excitons in strained bulk GaAs layers, probing the coherent response for differing amounts of strain. Biaxial tensile strain lifts the degeneracy of heavy-hole and light-hole valence states, leading to an observed splitting of the associated excitons at low temperature. Increasing the strain increases the magnitude of the heavy-/light- hole exciton peak splitting, induces an asymmetry in the off-diagonal interaction coherences, increases the difference in the heavy- and light- hole exciton homogenous linewidths, and increases the inhomogeneous broadening of both exciton species. All results arise from strain-induced variations in the local electronic environment, which is not uniform along the growth direction of the thin layers. For cross-linear polarized excitation, wherein excitonic signals give way to biexcitonic signals, the high-strain sample shows evidence of bound light-, heavy- and mixed- hole biexcitons.;2DCS maps the anticrossing associated with normal mode splitting in a semiconductor microcavity. For a detuning range near zero, it is observed that there are two diagonal features related to the intra-action of exciton-polariton branches and two off-diagonal features related to coherent interaction between the polaritons. At negative detuning, the line shape properties of the diagonal intra-action features are distinguishable and can be associated with cavity-like and exciton-like modes. A biexcitonic companion feature is observed, shifted from the exciton feature by the biexciton binding energy. Closer to zero detuning, all features are enhanced and the diagonal intra-action features become nearly equal in amplitude and linewidth. At positive detuning the exciton-like and cavity-like characteristics return to the diagonal intra-action features. Off-diagonal interaction features exhibit asymmetry in their amplitudes throughout the detuning range. The amplitudes are strongly modulated as the lower polariton branch crosses the bound biexciton energy determined from negatively detuned spectra.