Optical Properties II

  • Peter Y. Yu
  • Manuel Cardona
Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)


In this chapter we have studied light emission processes in semiconductors. In photoluminescence, external radiation excites electron-hole pairs in the sample. These relax to lower energy states by giving up their excess energy to phonons. As a result, the emission produced by the relaxed electron-hole pairs is characteristic of the bandgap of the semiconductor or of gap states associated with defects. Therefore, luminescence is a very useful technique for studying excitons, bound excitons, donors, acceptors and even deep centers (such as isoelectronic traps). Some of the radiation passing through a medium is always scattered by fluctuations in the medium. Such light scattering can also be understood in terms of spontaneous emission from polarizations induced in the medium by the incident radiation. When the induced polarization is modulated by phonons (both optical and acoustic) the incident light is inelastically scattered. These emission processes, known as Raman and Brillouin scattering, are very powerful tools for determining the frequency and symmetry of vibrational modes in condensed media. Their excitation spectroscopies (known as resonant Raman or resonant Brillouin scattering), in which one measures the scattering cross section as a function of the incident photon energy, are also extremely useful. We have shown that they can be used to determine electronic excitation energies, electron-phonon interaction and dispersion of excitons. Since real electron-hole pairs are excited in resonant Raman and Brillouin scattering as well as in photoluminescence, the distinction between the two starts to blur, leading to the suggestion that resonant light scattering processes, especially multiphonon ones, can be regarded as a form on nonthermalized luminescence or hot luminescence.


Raman Scattering Acoustic Phonon Scattered Photon Neutral Donor Transverse Optical 
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Chapter 7

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General Reading

  1. Agrawal, G. P.: Semiconductor Lasers: post, present, and future. (AIP Press, Woodburry, New York, 1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balkanski M. (ed.): Light Scattering in Solids (Flammarion, Paris 1971)Google Scholar
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  4. Cardona M., G. Güntherodt (eds.): Light Scattering in Solids I–VI, Topics Appl. Phys., Vols. 8, 50, 51, 54, 66, 68 (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg 1975–91)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Y. Yu
    • 1
  • Manuel Cardona
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für FestkörperforschungStuttgartGermany

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