Dynamics of short-time-scale energy relaxation of optical excitations due to electron-electron scattering in the presence of arbitrary disorder

Imre Varga, Peter Thomas, Torsten Meier, Stephan W Koch

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A nonequilibrium occupation distribution relaxes towards the Fermi-Dirac distribution due to electron-electron scattering even in finite Fermi systems. The dynamic evolution of this thermalization process assumed to result from an optical excitation is investigated numerically by solving a Boltzmann equation for the carrier populations using a one-dimensional disordered system. We focus on the short-time-scale behavior. The logarithmically long time scale associated with the glassy behavior of interacting electrons in disordered systems is not treated in our investigation. For weak disorder and short range interaction we recover the expected result that the relaxation rate is enhanced by disorder. For sufficiently strong disorder, however, we find an opposite trend due to the reduction of scattering probabilities originating from the strong localization of the single-particle states. Long-range interaction in this regime produces a similar effect. The relaxation rate is found to scale with the interaction strength, however, the interplay between the implicit and the explicit character of the interaction produces an anomalous exponent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113104
Pages (from-to)1131041-1131044
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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