Thermal and Plasma Waves in Semiconductors

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1987
Authors
Opsal, Jon
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Abstract

The absorption of an intensity modulated laser beam results in a modulated temperature profile having the properties of a critically damped wave, i. e., a thermal wave [1]. In a semiconductor such as silicon, if the energy per photon exceeds the band gap energy, then, in addition to the thermal wave, one has a photo-generated electron-hole plasma density that can also be characterized as a critically damped propagating wave, i. e., a plasma wave [2]. In this paper, we present a theoretical description of these two phenomena that shows how they can be used to obtain information about transport and carrier recombination properties of semiconductors. Included in our analysis will be the effects of linear coupling between heat and mass transport (i. e., thermodiffusion) on the propagation of thermal waves and plasma waves.

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