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Ultrafast dynamics of Dirac surface and bulk photocarriers in topological-insulator bismuth telluride nanocrystals using terahertz spectroscopy

Mithun, K P and Kumar, A and Kundu, S and Ravishankar, N and Sood, A K (2022) Ultrafast dynamics of Dirac surface and bulk photocarriers in topological-insulator bismuth telluride nanocrystals using terahertz spectroscopy. In: Physical Review B, 105 (14).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.105.144302


Unlike conventional semiconductors, Dirac fermions in surface states of topological insulators (TIs) exhibit many fascinating electronic properties relevant for several optoelectronic and spintronic applications. We investigate the relaxation dynamics of photoexcited carriers in bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) nanocrystals - a prominent candidate among the three-dimensional (3D) topological insulators, using ultrafast time resolved terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. Upon photoexcitation using an 800 nm pump pulse, we observe a decrease in the THz transmission due to the absorption of THz radiation by the photoexcited carriers. The time evolution of the real part of pump induced conductivity [ΔσR(τpp)=σpumpon(τpp)-σpumpoff] with respect to the pump-probe delay time (τpp), exhibits a sign change from positive to negative as carriers relax back to their equilibrium distribution, which is also evident from the spectral signatures of Δσ(ω), measured at various τpp. While the positive sign of ΔσR(τpp) is attributed to the contribution from the semiconducting bulk states, the negative sign of ΔσR(τpp) at longer delay times is shown to arise from the Dirac surface states of TIs due to increased scattering rate of photoexcited charge carriers. We model the differential conductivity spectrum [Δσ(ω)] and the transient dynamics [ΔσR(τpp)] quantitatively using the Boltzmann transport equation applied to the surface and bulk states. This includes the energy dependence of scattering rates along with the dynamics of hot electron temperature (Te) evaluated in a self-consistent manner. Such an approach enables us to understand various scattering mechanisms associated with the photoexcited carriers both in Dirac surface as well as in bulk electronic states. © 2022 American Physical Society.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Physical Review B
Publisher: American Physical Society
Additional Information: The Copyright belongs to the American Physical Society
Keywords: Boltzmann equation; Dynamics; Electric insulators; Electronic properties; Nanocrystals; Optical pumping; Surface scattering; Surface states; Tellurium compounds; Terahertz spectroscopy; Terahertz waves, Bulk state; Dirac fermions; Optoelectronic applications; Photo-carriers; Photoexcited carriers; Relaxation dynamics; Scattering rates; Spintronics application; Topological insulators; Ultra-fast dynamics, Bismuth compounds
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Materials Research Centre
Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 11:27
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 11:27
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/71934

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