Femtosecond electronic dephasing and population relaxation of some novel semiconducting materials
Schneck, Jude Robert
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The dissipation of energy by excited carriers in semiconductors is crucial to device development. In particular, the carrier relaxation mechanisms are strongly modified by the degree of disorder introduced into the lattice via the growth process. The pump probe spectroscopic technique is ideally suited to monitor the energy dissipation process and elucidate the relaxation mechanisms contributing to the carrier decay. Additionally, phase breaking interactions of optical transitions, as measured via the photon echo spectroscopic technique, provides insight into the different homogeneous relaxation mechanisms contributing to the optical resonance. When compared to high quality semiconducting materials, the fundamental homogeneous relaxation mechanisms depend strongly on the disorder inherent in the material. The photon echo technique is ideal for quantifying the strength of these interactions. Femtosecond pump-probe responses of a GaN thin film excited above and below the UV band gap were measured to determine the kinetic relaxation pathways of carriers. A number of fluence dependent decay processes were identified, including carrier-carrier scattering, exciton decay, trapping to defect states, and hole state recovery. The characteristic timescales of these mechanisms ranged from <50 fs to >600 ps. In other measurements on GaN, two-pulse photon echoes due to the strongly dipole coupled excitons were observed as a function of temperature (1 0 - 295K). A biexponential decay of the dephasing rate was found from these measurements and attributed to free and bound excitons. The dynamics of the E22 transition of (6,5) single walled carbon nanotubes was studied over a range of fluences via pump-probe spectroscopy. A fluence dependent dephasing rate was deduced from an analysis of the pump-probe signal intensity at a fixed short delay time allowing an effective cross section for exciton-exciton interactions to be determined. The relaxation kinetics of optically excited E22 excitons was revealed by pump fluence dependent fits to the observed pump-probe responses. The model includes both Auger recombination from the E11 and E22 states due to exciton-exciton annihilation and a stretched exponential decay from E11 to the valence band. E11 and E22 diffusion coefficients and the defect density were determined from this analysis.
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