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A Pair of 2D Quantum Liquids: Investigating the Phase Behavior of Indirect Excitons


Long-lived indirect excitons (IXs) exhibit a rich phase diagram, including a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), a Wigner crystal, and other exotic phases. Recent experiments have hinted at a "classical" liquid of IXs above the BEC transition. To uncover the nature of this phase, we use a broad range of theoretical tools and find no evidence of a driving force toward classical condensation. Instead, we attribute the condensed phase to a quantum electron-hole liquid (EHL), first proposed by Keldysh for direct excitons. Taking into account the association of free carriers into bound excitons, we study the phase equilibrium between a gas of excitons, a gas of free carriers, and an EHL for a wide range of electron-hole separations, temperatures, densities, and mass ratios. Our results agree reasonably well with recent measurements of GaAs/AlGaAs coupled quantum wells.

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