Optical Excitation of Hot Carriers
The study of charge transport in semiconductors and the domain of applied optical spectroscopy have promoted each other in various ways in the last two decades: efficient photo-cathodes and photo-conductors, extremely fast and sensitive detectors, and especially taylored light emitting diodes and injection lasers were all the result of applied research in semiconductors. All of these optoelectronic devices are based on the optical excitation of mobile carriers, or its time-reversed process, radiative recombination. They could not develop to full maturity before the basic mechanisms of optical absorption, carrier transport, and electron-hole-pair recombination in the relevant semiconductor materials were understood (for a good survey of the relevant phenomena see Pankove, 1971). On the other hand, the impact of laser spectroscopy, improved experimental techniques (among them optical probes with subpicosecond time resolution) and the availability of well-characterized group IV, III–V and II–VI semiconductor crystals have helped to keep the field of “hot”, i.e. non-equilibrium, carrier phenomena so attractive. High density electron-hole plasma experiments, picosecond relaxation studies, and the direct access to carrier densities and energy distribution functions f(E) via light scattering and application of emission spectroscopy became possible in the last ten years.
KeywordsOptical Excitation Energy Distribution Function Carrier Heating Power Balance Equation Color Center Laser
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