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Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Aug 1;113(5):057602. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Ultrafast exciton formation at the ZnO(1010) surface.

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  • 1Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abteilung Physikalische Chemie, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


We study the ultrafast quasiparticle dynamics in and below the ZnO conduction band using femtosecond time-resolved two-photon photoelectron spectroscopy. Above band gap excitation causes hot electron relaxation by electron-phonon scattering down to the Fermi level E_{F} followed by ultrafast (200 fs) formation of a surface exciton (SX). Transient screening of the Coulomb interaction reduces the SX formation probability at high excitation densities near the Mott limit. Located just below the surface, the SX are stable with regard to hydrogen-induced work function modifications and thus the ideal prerequisite for resonant energy transfer applications.

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