Quantum theory of intersubband polarons
We present a microscopic quantum theory of intersubband polarons, quasiparticles originated from the coupling between intersubband transitions and longitudinal optical phonons. To this aim, we develop a second quantized theory taking into account both the Fröhlich interaction between phonons and intersubband transitions and the Coulomb interaction between the intersubband transitions themselves. Our results show that the coupling between the phonons and the intersubband transitions is extremely intense, thanks both to the collective nature of the intersubband excitations and to the natural tight confinement of optical phonons. Not only is the coupling strong enough to spectroscopically resolve the resonant splitting between the modes (strong-coupling regime), but it can become comparable to the bare frequency of the excitations (ultrastrong-coupling regime). We thus predict the possibility to exploit intersubband polarons both for applied optoelectronic research, where a precise control of the phonon resonances is needed, and also to observe fundamental quantum vacuum physics, typical of the ultrastrong-coupling regime.