Abstract

A microscopic analysis is presented for the extreme nonlinear optical response of semiconductor quantum wells and wires after intense excitation with femtosecond laser pulses. In this regime, the light–matter interaction is the dominant eneregy scale, leading to a number of interesting effects such as carrier-wave Rabi flopping, Mollow splitting, and the creation of higher harmonics. The results presented here were obtained by evaluating the semiconductor Bloch equations without the rotating wave approximation. The electronic dispersion of semiconductor nanostructures is shown to have a characteristic influence on the extreme nonlinear optical response, whereas the relative importance of the carrier Coulomb interaction decreases with increasing excitation intensities.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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