Terahertz Spectroscopy: Studying Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductor Nanostructures

Monday, October 12, 2015: 14:40
Curtis A (Hyatt Regency)
L. V. Titova (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), S. Xu (University of Alberta), J. M. Baribeau (National Research Council), D. J. Lockwood (National Research Council Canada), and F. Hegmann (University of Alberta)
Understanding the ultrafast dynamics of photoexcited carriers in semiconductor nanostructures and their dependence on sample morphology is crucial for their incorporation into photonic devices. Time-resolved terahertz (THz) spectroscopy is an all-optical, contact free technique that allows directly measuring the transient mobile carrier dynamics and terahertz conductivity over picosecond time scales, and is uniquely suitable as a probe of conductivity in nanomaterials.

We have applied time-resolved THz spectroscopy to investigate ultrafast carrier dynamics to a variety of nanostructured semiconducting systems such as silicon nanocrystal films, nanogranular iron pyrate (FeS2) and vanadium dioxide (VO2). Furthermore, terahertz emission spectroscopy of nanomaterials, where the sample itself emits THz radiation in response to optical excitation, provides important insights into carrier dynamics.  We have recently generated THz pulses from optically excited macroscopic arrays of aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs).  We propose that top-bottom asymmetry present in the SWCNT arrays produces a built-in electric field in semiconducting SWCNTs, which enables generation of polarized THz radiation by a photocurrent surge.