Non-thermal hot electrons ultrafastly generating hot optical phonons in graphite.
ABSTRACT: Investigation of the non-equilibrium dynamics after an impulsive impact provides insights into couplings among various excitations. A two-temperature model (TTM) is often a starting point to understand the coupled dynamics of electrons and lattice vibrations: the optical pulse primarily raises the electronic temperature T(el) while leaving the lattice temperature T(l) low; subsequently the hot electrons heat up the lattice until T(el) = T(l) is reached. This temporal hierarchy owes to the assumption that the electron-electron scattering rate is much larger than the electron-phonon scattering rate. We report herein that the TTM scheme is seriously invalidated in semimetal graphite. Time-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (TrPES) of graphite reveals that fingerprints of coupled optical phonons (COPs) occur from the initial moments where T(el) is still not definable. Our study shows that ultrafast-and-efficient phonon generations occur beyond the TTM scheme, presumably associated to the long duration of the non-thermal electrons in graphite.
Project description:The intensive measures of luminescence in a GaN/InGaN multiple quantum well system are used to examine the thermodynamics and phenomenological structure. The radiative /nonradiative transitions along with absorbed or emitted phonons that occur between the different quantum states of the electrons and holes associated with these processes make the quantum efficiency of a semiconductor nanosystem in an equilibrium state an extensive property. It has long been recognized that tuning of the indium (In) composition in InGaN interlayers gives the potential to obtain a spectrum in the near-infrared to near-ultraviolet spectral range. The thermodynamic intensive properties, including the Debye temperature, carrier temperature, and junction temperature, are the most appropriate metrics to describe the optical-related interactions inherent in a given heterostructure and so can be used as the state variables for understanding the quantum exchange behaviors. The energetic features of the quantum processes are characterized based on analysis of the intensive parameters as determined by means of electroluminescence (EL) and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy and current-voltage measurement and then correlated with the designed InGaN/GaN microstructures. According to the McCumber-Sturge theory, the EL and PL Debye temperatures obtained experimentally signal the strength of the electron-phonon and photon-phonon interaction, respectively, while the EL and PL carrier/junction temperatures correspond to the carrier localization. Higher EL Debye temperatures and lower EL carrier/junction temperatures reflect significantly higher luminescence quantum yields, indicative of electron-phonon coupling in the transfer of thermal energy between the confined electrons and the enhancement by excited phonons of heat-assisted emissions. On the other hand, the observation of low luminescence efficiency, corresponding to the lower PL Debye temperatures and higher PL carrier/junction temperatures, is attributed to photon-phonon coupling. These findings are in good accordance to the dependence of the EL and PL quantum efficiency on the In-content of the InGaN/GaN barriers, suggesting that the characteristic Debye and carrier/junction temperatures are intensive parameters useful for assessing the optical properties of a nano-engineered semiconductor heterostructure.
Project description:Ultrashort light pulses can selectively excite charges, spins, and phonons in materials, providing a powerful approach for manipulating their properties. Here we use femtosecond laser pulses to coherently manipulate the electron and phonon distributions, and their couplings, in the charge-density wave (CDW) material 1T-TaSe2 After exciting the material with a femtosecond pulse, fast spatial smearing of the laser-excited electrons launches a coherent lattice breathing mode, which in turn modulates the electron temperature. This finding is in contrast to all previous observations in multiple materials to date, where the electron temperature decreases monotonically via electron-phonon scattering. By tuning the laser fluence, the magnitude of the electron temperature modulation changes from ?200 K in the case of weak excitation, to ?1,000 K for strong laser excitation. We also observe a phase change of ? in the electron temperature modulation at a critical fluence of 0.7 mJ/cm2, which suggests a switching of the dominant coupling mechanism between the coherent phonon and electrons. Our approach opens up routes for coherently manipulating the interactions and properties of two-dimensional and other quantum materials using light.
Project description:We demonstrate significant cooling of electrons in a nanostructure below 10 mK by demagnetisation of thin-film copper on a silicon chip. Our approach overcomes the typical bottleneck of weak electron-phonon scattering by coupling the electrons directly to a bath of refrigerated nuclei, rather than cooling via phonons in the host lattice. Consequently, weak electron-phonon scattering becomes an advant- age. It allows the electrons to be cooled for an experimentally useful period of time to temperatures colder than the dilution refrigerator platform, the incoming electrical connections, and the host lattice. There are efforts worldwide to reach sub-millikelvin electron temperatures in nanostructures to study coherent electronic phenomena and improve the operation of nanoelectronic devices. On-chip magnetic cooling is a promising approach to meet this challenge. The method can be used to reach low, local electron temperatures in other nanostructures, obviating the need to adapt traditional, large demagnetisation stages. We demonstrate the technique by applying it to a nanoelectronic primary thermometer that measures its internal electron temperature. Using an optimised demagnetisation process, we demonstrate cooling of the on-chip electrons from 9 mK to below 5 mK for over 1000 seconds.
Project description:We introduce a different perspective describing electron-phonon interactions in graphene based on curved space hydrodynamics. Interactions of phonons with charge carriers increase the electrical resistivity of the material. Our approach captures the lattice vibrations as curvature changes in the space through which electrons move following hydrodynamic equations. In this picture, inertial corrections to the electronic flow arise naturally effectively producing electron-phonon interactions. The strength of the interaction is controlled by a coupling constant, which is temperature independent. We apply this model to graphene and recover satisfactorily the linear scaling law for the resistivity that is expected at high temperatures. Our findings open up a new perspective of treating electron-phonon interactions in graphene, and also in other materials where electrons can be described by the Fermi liquid theory.
Project description:Charge and thermal transport in a crystal is carried by free electrons and phonons (quantized lattice vibration), the two most fundamental quasiparticles. Above the Debye temperature of the crystal, phonon-mediated thermal conductivity (? L) is typically limited by mutual scattering of phonons, which results in ? L decreasing with inverse temperature, whereas free electrons play a negligible role in ? L. Here, an unusual case in charge-density-wave tantalum disulfide (1T-TaS2) is reported, in which ? L is limited instead by phonon scattering with free electrons, resulting in a temperature-independent ? L. In this system, the conventional phonon-phonon scattering is alleviated by its uniquely structured phonon dispersions, while unusually strong electron-phonon (e-ph) coupling arises from its Fermi surface strongly nested at wavevectors in which phonons exhibit Kohn anomalies. The unusual temperature dependence of thermal conduction is found as a consequence of these effects. The finding reveals new physics of thermal conduction, offers a unique platform to probe e-ph interactions, and provides potential ways to control heat flow in materials with free charge carriers. The temperature-independent thermal conductivity may also find thermal management application as a special thermal interface material between two systems when the heat conduction between them needs to be maintained at a constant level.
Project description:Hot electrons established by the absorption of high-energy photons typically thermalize on a picosecond time scale in a semiconductor, dissipating energy via various phonon-mediated relaxation pathways. Here it is shown that a strong hot carrier distribution can be produced using a type-II quantum well structure. In such systems it is shown that the dominant hot carrier thermalization process is limited by the radiative recombination lifetime of electrons with reduced wavefunction overlap with holes. It is proposed that the subsequent reabsorption of acoustic and optical phonons is facilitated by a mismatch in phonon dispersions at the InAs-AlAsSb interface and serves to further stabilize hot electrons in this system. This lengthens the time scale for thermalization to nanoseconds and results in a hot electron distribution with a temperature of 490 K for a quantum well structure under steady-state illumination at room temperature.
Project description:The interplay between the electronic and lattice degrees of freedom in nonequilibrium states of strongly correlated systems has been debated for decades. Although progress has been made in establishing a hierarchy of electronic interactions with the use of time-resolved techniques, the role of the phonons often remains in dispute, a situation highlighting the need for tools that directly probe the lattice. We present the first combined megaelectron volt ultrafast electron diffraction and time- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy study of optimally doped Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+?. Quantitative analysis of the lattice and electron subsystems' dynamics provides a unified picture of nonequilibrium electron-phonon interactions in the cuprates beyond the N-temperature model. The work provides new insights on the specific phonon branches involved in the nonequilibrium heat dissipation from the high-energy Cu-O bond stretching "hot" phonons to the lowest-energy acoustic phonons with correlated atomic motion along the <110> crystal directions and their characteristic time scales. It reveals a highly nonthermal phonon population during the first several picoseconds after the photoexcitation. The approach, taking advantage of the distinct nature of electrons and photons as probes, is applicable for studying energy relaxation in other strongly correlated electron systems.
Project description:This paper describes measurements of the dynamics of hot electron cooling in photoexcited gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) with diameters of ?3.5 nm, and passivated with either a hexadecylamine or hexadecanethiolate adlayer, using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy. Fits of these dynamics with temperature-dependent Mie theory reveal that both the electronic heat capacity and the electron-phonon coupling constant are larger for the thiolated NPs than for the aminated NPs, by 40% and 30%, respectively. Density functional theory calculations on ligand-functionalized Au slabs show that the increase in these quantities is due to an increased electronic density of states near the Fermi level upon ligand exchange from amines to thiolates. The lifetime of hot electrons, which have thermalized from the initial plasmon excitation, increases with increasing electronic heat capacity, but decreases with increasing electron-phonon coupling, so the effects of changing surface chemistry on these two quantities partially cancel to yield a hot electron lifetime of thiolated NPs that is only 20% longer than that of aminated NPs. This analysis also reveals that incorporation of a temperature-dependent electron-phonon coupling constant is necessary to adequately fit the dynamics of electron cooling.
Project description:Time dynamics of photoexcited electron-hole pairs is important for a number of technologies, in particular solar cells. We combined ultrafast pump-probe Raman scattering and photoemission to directly follow electron-hole excitations as well as the G-phonon in graphite after an excitation by an intense laser pulse. This phonon is known to couple relatively strongly to electrons. Cross-correlating effective electronic and phonon temperatures places new constraints on model-based fits. The accepted two-temperature model predicts that G-phonon population should start to increase as soon as excited electron-hole pairs are created and that the rate of increase should not depend strongly on the pump fluence. Instead we found that the increase of the G-phonon population occurs with a delay of ~65?fs. This time-delay is also evidenced by the absence of the so-called self-pumping for G phonons. It decreases with increased pump fluence. We show that these observations imply a new relaxation pathway: Instead of hot carriers transferring energy to G-phonons directly, the energy is first transferred to optical phonons near the zone boundary K-points, which then decay into G-phonons via phonon-phonon scattering. Our work demonstrates that phonon-phonon interactions must be included in any calculations of hot carrier relaxation in optical absorbers even when only short timescales are considered.
Project description:Hot carrier dynamics critically impacts the performance of electronic, optoelectronic, photovoltaic, and plasmonic devices. Hot carriers lose energy over nanometer lengths and picosecond timescales and thus are challenging to study experimentally, whereas calculations of hot carrier dynamics are cumbersome and dominated by empirical approaches. In this work, we present ab initio calculations of hot electrons in gallium arsenide (GaAs) using density functional theory and many-body perturbation theory. Our computed electron-phonon relaxation times at the onset of the ?, L, and X valleys are in excellent agreement with ultrafast optical experiments and show that the ultrafast (tens of femtoseconds) hot electron decay times observed experimentally arise from electron-phonon scattering. This result is an important advance to resolve a controversy on hot electron cooling in GaAs. We further find that, contrary to common notions, all optical and acoustic modes contribute substantially to electron-phonon scattering, with a dominant contribution from transverse acoustic modes. This work provides definitive microscopic insight into hot electrons in GaAs and enables accurate ab initio computation of hot carriers in advanced materials.