Investigation of optical cavity modes and ultrafast carrier dynamics in ZnO rods using second-harmonic generation and transient absorption pump-probe microscopy Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Mehl, Brian Peter
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry
  • The polydispersity intrinsic to nanoscale and microscale semiconductor materials poses a major challenge to using individual objects as building blocks for device applications. The ability to manipulate the shape of ZnO structures is enormous, making it an ideal material for studying shape-dependent phenomena. We have built a nonlinear microscope used to directly image optical cavity modes in ZnO rods using second-harmonic generation. Images of second-harmonic generation in needle-shaped ZnO rods obtained from individual structures show areas of enhanced second-harmonic intensity along the longitudinal axis of the rod that are periodically distributed and symmetrically situated relative to the rod midpoint. The spatial modulation is a direct consequence of the fundamental optical field coupling into standing wave resonator modes of the ZnO structure, leading to an enhanced backscattered second-harmonic condition that cannot be achieved in bulk ZnO. A more complicated second-harmonic image is observed when excitation is below the band gap, which is attributed to whispering gallery modes. Additionally, the nonlinear microscope was combined with transient absorption pump-probe to follow the electron-hole recombination dynamics at different points within individual needle-shaped ZnO rods to characterize spatial differences in dynamical behavior. The results from pump-probe experiments are correlated with spatially resolved ultrafast emission measurements, and scanning electron microscopy provides structural details. Dramatically different electron-hole recombination dynamics are observed in the narrow tips compared to the interior, with the ends exhibiting a greater propensity for electron-hole plasma formation and faster recombination of carriers across the band gap that stem from a physical confinement of the charge carriers. In the interior of the rod, a greater fraction of the electron-hole recombination is trap-mediated and occurs on a significantly longer time scale.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Chemistry."
  • Papanikolas, John
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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