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Relaxation dynamics of excitons and electron-hole pairs studied by spatiotemporal pump and probe experiments

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Ultrafast laser spectroscopy has been used extensively to study carrier relaxation phenomena in semiconductors and semiconductor nanostructures. Accordingly, several physical issues of the carrier thermalization and recombination scenario after optical excitation are well understood. This is particularly true for many III-V quantum well structures. However, there is a basic problem when using light-matter interaction to study carrier relaxation in crystals. As a consequence of (i) the conservation law for the total momentum and (ii) the vanishing momentum of visible light as compared to the extension of the Brillouin-zone only electron-hole (e-h) pair transitions with vanishing total wavevector (K=0) can be excited and detected, provided no other quasi-particle carrying momentum is involved in the optical transition.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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