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Title: Ultrafast photoinduced band splitting and carrier dynamics in chiral tellurium nanosheets

Trigonal tellurium (Te) is a chiral semiconductor that lacks both mirror and inversion symmetries, resulting in complex band structures with Weyl crossings and unique spin textures. Detailed time-resolved polarized reflectance spectroscopy is used to investigate its band structure and carrier dynamics. The polarized transient spectra reveal optical transitions between the uppermost spin-splitH4andH5and the degenerateH6valence bands (VB) and the lowest degenerateH6conduction band (CB) as well as a higher energy transition at the L-point. Surprisingly, the degeneracy of theH6CB (a proposed Weyl node) is lifted and the spin-split VB gap is reduced upon photoexcitation before relaxing to equilibrium as the carriers decay. Using ab initio density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we conclude that the dynamic band structure is caused by a photoinduced shear strain in the Te film that breaks the screw symmetry of the crystal. The band-edge anisotropy is also reflected in the hot carrier decay rate, which is a factor of two slower along the c-axis than perpendicular to it. The majority of photoexcited carriers near the band-edge are seen to recombine within 30 ps while higher lying transitions observed near 1.2 eV appear to have substantially longer lifetimes, potentially due to contributions of intervalley processes in the recombination rate. These new more » findings shed light on the strong correlation between photoinduced carriers and electronic structure in anisotropic crystals, which opens a potential pathway for designing novel Te-based devices that take advantage of the topological structures as well as strong spin-related properties.

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Nature Communications
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National Science Foundation
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A 15-μm-diam-mesa device was defined by standard planar processing including a top annular ohmic contact with a 5-μm-diam pinhole in the center to couple out enough of the internal emission for accurate free-space power measurements [4]. The emission spectra have the behavior displayed in Fig. 1(b), parameterized by bias voltage (VB). The long wavelength emission edge is at  = 1684 nm - close to the In0.53Ga0.47As bandgap energy of Ug ≈ 0.75 eV at 300 K. The spectral peaks for VB = 2.8 and 3.0 V both occur around  = 1550 nm (h = 0.75 eV), so blue-shifted relative to the peak of the “ideal”, bulk InGaAs emission spectrum shown in Fig. 1(b) [5]. These results are consistent with the model displayed in Fig. 1(c), whereby the broad emission peak is attributed to the radiative recombination between electrons accumulated on the emitter side, and holes generated on the emitter side by interband tunneling with current density Jinter. 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Fig. 3(b) shows the tunneling probability T according to the Kane two-band model in the three materials, In0.53Ga0.47As, GaAs, and GaN, following our observation of a similar electroluminescence mechanism in GaN/AlN RTDs (due to strong polarization field of wurtzite structures) [8]. The expression is Tinter = (2/9)∙exp[(-2 ∙Ug 2 ∙me)/(2h∙P∙E)], where Ug is the bandgap energy, P is the valence-to-conduction-band momentum matrix element, and E is the electric field. Values for the highest calculated internal E fields for the InGaAs and GaN are also shown, indicating that Tinter in those structures approaches values of ~10-5. As shown, a GaAs RTD would require an internal field of ~6×105 V/cm, which is rarely realized in standard GaAs RTDs, perhaps explaining why there have been few if any reports of room-temperature electroluminescence in the GaAs devices. [1] E.R. Brown,et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 58, 2291, 1991. [5] S. 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