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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Oct 21;107(17):177007. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Energy-gap dynamics of superconducting NbN thin films studied by time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy.

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Department of Physics and Center for Applied Photonics, Univ. of Konstanz, D-78457, Germany.


Using time-domain terahertz spectroscopy we performed direct studies of the photoinduced suppression and recovery of the superconducting gap in a conventional BCS superconductor NbN. Both processes are found to be strongly temperature and excitation density dependent. The analysis of the data with the established phenomenological Rothwarf-Taylor model enabled us to determine the bare quasiparticle recombination rate, the Cooper pair-breaking rate and the electron-phonon coupling constant, λ=1.1±0.1, which is in excellent agreement with theoretical estimates.

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