Scientific Reports

Phonon anharmonicities and ultrafast dynamics in epitaxial Sb2Te3

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In this study we report on the investigation of epitaxially grown Sb2Te3 by employing Fourier-Transform transmission Spectroscopy (FTS) with laser-induced Coherent Synchrotron Radiation (CSR) in the Terahertz (THz) spectral range. Static spectra in the range between 20 and 120 cm−1 highlight a peculiar softening of an in-plane IR-active phonon mode upon temperature decrease, as opposed to all Raman active modes which instead show a hardening upon temperature decrease in the same energy range. The phonon mode softening is found to be accompanied by an increase of free carrier concentration. A strong coupling of the two systems (free carriers and phonons) is observed and further evidenced by exciting the same phonon mode at 62 cm−1 within an ultrafast pump-probe scheme employing a femtosecond laser as pump and a CSR single cycle THz pulse as probe. Separation of the free carrier contribution and the phonon resonance in the investigated THz range reveals that, both damping of the phonon mode and relaxation of hot carriers in the time domain happen on the same time scale of 5 ps. This relaxation is about a factor of 10 slower than expected from the Lorentz time-bandwidth limit. The results are discussed in the framework of phonon scattering at thermal and laser induced transient free carriers.


31 Jul 2020


Scientific Reports