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Light from exotic particle states
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 @ 21:15:44 GMT by vlad

Science Anonymous writes: A new type of light-emitting diode has been developed at TU Wien. Light is produced from the radiative decay of exciton complexes in layers of just a few atoms thickness.

When particles bond in free space, they normally create atoms or molecules. However, much more exotic bonding states can be produced inside solid objects.

Researchers at TU Wien have now managed to utilise this: so-called "multi-particle exciton complexes" have been produced by applying electrical pulses to extremely thin layers of material made from tungsten and selenium or sulphur. These exciton clusters are bonding states made up of electrons and "holes" in the material and can be converted into light.

The result is an innovative form of light-emitting diode in which the wavelength of the desired light can be controlled with high precision. These findings have now been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Electrons and holes

In a semiconductor material, electrical charge can be transported in two different ways. On the one hand, electrons can move straight through the material from atom to atom in which case they take negative charge with them. On the other hand, if an electron is missing somewhere in the semiconductor that point will be positively charged and referred to as a "hole." If an electron moves up from a neighbouring atom and fills the hole, it in turn leaves a hole in its previous position. That way, holes can move through the material in a similar manner to electrons but in the opposite direction.

"Under certain circumstances, holes and electrons can bond to each other," says Prof. Thomas Mueller from the Photonics Institute (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology) at TU Wien. "Similar to how an electron orbits the positively charged atomic nucleus in a hydrogen atom, an electron can orbit the positively charged hole in a solid object."

Even more complex bonding states are possible: so-called trions, biexcitons or quintons which involve three, four or five bonding partners. "For example, the biexciton is the exciton equivalent of the hydrogen molecule H2," explains Thomas Mueller.

More: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-exotic-particle-states.html


 
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