skip to main content


Title: The Optical Signatures of Stochastic Processes in Many-Body Exciton Scattering
We review our recent quantum stochastic model for spectroscopic lineshapes in the presence of a coevolving and nonstationary background population of excitations. Starting from a field theory description for interacting bosonic excitons, we derive a reduced model whereby optical excitons are coupled to an incoherent background via scattering as mediated by their screened Coulomb coupling. The Heisenberg equations of motion for the optical excitons are then driven by an auxiliary stochastic population variable, which we take to be the solution of an Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process. Here, we present an overview of the theoretical techniques we have developed as applied to predicting coherent nonlinear spectroscopic signals. We show how direct (Coulomb) and exchange coupling to the bath give rise to distinct spectral signatures and discuss mathematical limits on inverting spectral signatures to extract the background density of states. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Physical Chemistry, Volume 74 is April 2023. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2102506 1903785
NSF-PAR ID:
10404805
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Volume:
74
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0066-426X
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Moiré coupling in transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) superlattices introduces flat minibands that enable strong electronic correlation and fascinating correlated states, and it also modifies the strong Coulomb-interaction-driven excitons and gives rise to moiré excitons. Here, we introduce the layer degree of freedom to the WSe2/WS2moiré superlattice by changing WSe2from monolayer to bilayer and trilayer. We observe systematic changes of optical spectra of the moiré excitons, which directly confirm the highly interfacial nature of moiré coupling at the WSe2/WS2interface. In addition, the energy resonances of moiré excitons are strongly modified, with their separation significantly increased in multilayer WSe2/monolayer WS2moiré superlattice. The additional WSe2layers also modulate the strong electronic correlation strength, evidenced by the reduced Mott transition temperature with added WSe2layer(s). The layer dependence of both moiré excitons and correlated electronic states can be well described by our theoretical model. Our study presents a new method to tune the strong electronic correlation and moiré exciton bands in the TMDCs moiré superlattices, ushering in an exciting platform to engineer quantum phenomena stemming from strong correlation and Coulomb interaction.

     
    more » « less
  2. The protected electron states at the boundaries or on the surfaces of topological insulators (TIs) have been the subject of intense theoretical and experimental investigations. Such states are enforced by very strong spin–orbit interaction in solids composed of heavy elements. Here, we study the composite particles—chiral excitons—formed by the Coulomb attraction between electrons and holes residing on the surface of an archetypical 3D TI,Bi2Se3. Photoluminescence (PL) emission arising due to recombination of excitons in conventional semiconductors is usually unpolarized because of scattering by phonons and other degrees of freedom during exciton thermalization. On the contrary, we observe almost perfectly polarization-preserving PL emission from chiral excitons. We demonstrate that the chiral excitons can be optically oriented with circularly polarized light in a broad range of excitation energies, even when the latter deviate from the (apparent) optical band gap by hundreds of millielectronvolts, and that the orientation remains preserved even at room temperature. Based on the dependences of the PL spectra on the energy and polarization of incident photons, we propose that chiral excitons are made from massive holes and massless (Dirac) electrons, both with chiral spin textures enforced by strong spin–orbit coupling. A theoretical model based on this proposal describes quantitatively the experimental observations. The optical orientation of composite particles, the chiral excitons, emerges as a general result of strong spin–orbit coupling in a 2D electron system. Our findings can potentially expand applications of TIs in photonics and optoelectronics.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The surface chemistry and inter-connectivity within perovskite nanocrystals play a critical role in determining the electronic interactions. They manifest in the Coulomb screening of electron–hole correlations and the carrier relaxation dynamics, among other many-body processes. Here, we characterize the coupling between the exciton and free carrier states close to the band-edge in a ligand-free formamidinium lead bromide nanocrystal assembly via two-dimensional coherent spectroscopy. The optical signatures observed in this work show: (i) a nonlinear spectral lineshape reminiscent of Fano-like interference that evidences the coupling between discrete electronic states and a continuum, (ii) symmetric excited state absorption cross-peaks that suggest the existence of a coupled exciton-carrier excited state, and (iii) ultrafast carrier thermalization and exciton formation. Our results highlight the presence of coherent coupling between exciton and free carriers, particularly in the sub-100 femtosecond timescales.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    The advent of multiple exciton harvesting schemes and prolonging exciton lifetimes to improve performance attributes of solar cells based on conjugated organic materials presents some interesting challenges that must be overcome in order to realize the full potential of these strategies. This is especially important for applications involving multi-chromophoric conjugated polymers where interactions between multiple spin-forbidden triplet excitons can be significant and are mediated by chain conformation. We use single molecule spectroscopic techniques to investigate interactions between multiple triplet excitons and emissive singlets by monitoring time-dependent fluorescence quenching on time scales commensurate with the triplet lifetime. Structurally related conjugated polymers differing by heteroatom substitution were targeted and we use a stochastic photodynamic model to numerically simulate the evolution of multi-exciton populations following photoexcitation. Single chains of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) exhibit longer-lived triplet dynamics and larger steady-state triplet occupancies compared to those of poly(3-hexylselenophene) (P3HS), which has a larger reported triplet yield. Triplet populations evolve and relax much faster in P3HS which only becomes evident when considering all kinetic factors governing exciton population dynamics. Overall, we uncover new guidelines for effectively managing multi-exciton populations and interactions in conjugated polymers and improving their light harvesting efficiency.

     
    more » « less
  5. Electron-hole bound pairs, or excitons, are common excitations in semiconductors. They can spontaneously form and condense into a new insulating ground state—the so-called excitonic insulator—when the energy of electron-hole Coulomb attraction exceeds the band gap. In the presence of electron-phonon coupling, a periodic lattice distortion often concomitantly occurs. However, a similar structural transition can also be induced by electron-phonon coupling itself, therefore hindering the clean identification of bulk excitonic insulators (e.g., which instability is the driving force of the phase transition). Using high-resolution synchrotron x-ray diffraction and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we identify key electron-phonon coupling effects in a leading excitonic insulator candidate Ta 2 NiSe 5 . These include an extensive unidirectional lattice fluctuation and an electronic pseudogap in the normal state, as well as a negative electronic compressibility in the charge-doped broken-symmetry state. In combination with first principles and model calculations, we use the normal state electronic spectra to quantitatively determine the electron-phonon interaction vertex g and interband Coulomb interaction V in the minimal lattice model, the solution to which captures the experimental observations. Moreover, we show how the Coulomb and electron-phonon coupling effects can be unambiguously separated based on the solution to quantified microscopic models. Finally, we discuss how the strong lattice fluctuations enabled by low dimensionality relate to the unique electron-phonon interaction effects beyond the textbook Born-Oppenheimer approximation. 
    more » « less