Zeitschrift für Physik B Condensed Matter

Nonequilibrium properties of electron-hole plasma in direct-gap semiconductors

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The gain spectra of the electron-hole plasma recombination in CdS are investigated as a function of the excitation conditions and of the lattice temperature. From a lineshape analysis which includes such many-body effects as collision broadening, single-particle energy renormalization and excitonic enhancement, average plasma parameters are obtained. In contrast to the predictions of quasi-equilibrium theory, one finds that the electron-hole plasma does not reach a full thermal quasi-equilibrium in direct-gap materials because of the short lifetimes of the carriers. The nonequilibrium effects are shown to lead to the formation of electron-hole plasma density fluctuations. No well-defined coexistence region exists. The experimental results in the phase transition region can consistently be explained by theoretical treatments of this nonequilibrium phase transition. © 1981 Springer-Verlag.