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Creators/Authors contains: "Wilson, Richard B."

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  1. With time-resolved measurements, we investigate the inverse Faraday effect of gold nanodisks in random monolayers. Order-of-magnitude enhancements are observed for 3.9% fill-factor samples (compared to gold film) which increases with proximity to the plasmonic resonance.

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  2. A number of technological applications and scientific experiments require processes for preparing metal multilayers with electronically and thermally conductive interfaces. We investigate how in situ vs ex situ synthesis processes affect the thermal conductance of metal/metal interfaces. We use time-domain thermoreflectance experiments to study thermal transport in Au/Fe, Al/Cu, and Cu/Pt bilayer samples. We quantify the effect of exposing the bottom metal layer to an ambient environment prior to deposition of the top metal layer. We observe that for Au/Fe, exposure of the Fe layer to air before depositing the top Au layer significantly impedes interfacial electronic currents. Exposing Cu to air prior to depositing an Al layer effectively eliminates interfacial electronic heat currents between the two metal layers. Exposure to air appears to have no effect on interfacial transport in the Cu/Pt system. Finally, we show that a short RF sputter etch of the bottom layer surface is sufficient to ensure a thermally and electronically conductive metal/metal interface in all materials we study. We analyze our results with a two-temperature model and bound the electronic interface conductance for the nine samples we study. Our findings have applications for thin-film synthesis and advance fundamental understanding of electronic thermal conductance at different types of interfaces between metals. 
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    Abstract Understanding how photoexcited electron dynamics depend on electron-electron (e-e) and electron-phonon (e-p) interaction strengths is important for many fields, e.g. ultrafast magnetism, photocatalysis, plasmonics, and others. Here, we report simple expressions that capture the interplay of e-e and e-p interactions on electron distribution relaxation times. We observe a dependence of the dynamics on e-e and e-p interaction strengths that is universal to most metals and is also counterintuitive. While only e-p interactions reduce the total energy stored by excited electrons, the time for energy to leave the electronic subsystem also depends on e-e interaction strengths because e-e interactions increase the number of electrons emitting phonons. The effect of e-e interactions on energy-relaxation is largest in metals with strong e-p interactions. Finally, the time high energy electron states remain occupied depends only on the strength of e-e interactions, even if e-p scattering rates are much greater than e-e scattering rates. 
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  5. Abstract

    The thermal conductivity of boron arsenide (BAs) is believed to be influenced by phonon scattering selection rules due to its special phonon dispersion. Compression of BAs leads to significant changes in phonon dispersion, which allows for a test of first principles theories for how phonon dispersion affects three‐ and four‐phonon scattering rates. This study reports the thermal conductivity of BAs from 0 to 30 GPa. Thermal conductivity vs. pressure of BAs is measured by time‐domain thermoreflectance with a diamond anvil cell. In stark contrast to what is typical for nonmetallic crystals, BAs is observed to have a pressure independent thermal conductivity below 30 GPa. The thermal conductivity of nonmetallic crystals typically increases upon compression. The unusual pressure independence of BAs's thermal conductivity shows the important relationship between phonon dispersion properties and three‐ and four‐phonon scattering rates.

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