Method may help optimize light-emitting semiconductors
The work at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado at Boulder, is described in the Feb. 10 issue of Physical Review Letters.
The technique manipulates light energy and wave patterns to reveal subtle behavior, such as correlated oscillations of two objects. Such correlations are important because they may allow researchers to more accurately predict the emission frequencies produced by an optoelectronic device based on its structure and semiconductor materials.
The method was developed originally by other researchers years ago for probing couplings between spinning nuclei as an indicator of molecular structure, and it led to a Nobel prize; more recently, scientists have been trying to use it to study vibrations in chemical bonds. The JILA team is the first to show the approach offers new insights into electronic properties of semiconductors. The use of light as a precision tool to manage electronic behavior could lead to improved optoelectronic devices.
|What do you see in these Rorschach-blot-like images? JILA physicists see the once-hidden electronic behavior of semiconductors. The computer plots show how energy intensity (ranging from low in blue to high in red) varies as electronic structures called excitons absorb laser light and emit energy at various frequencies. The pair of similar "butterflies" indicates that an exciton is absorbing and emitting energy in a predictable pattern. (Photo: JILA )|
The research is supported in part by the Department of Energy.
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