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Chin. Phys. B, 2014, Vol. 23(4): 044206    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/23/4/044206

Gigahertz longitudinal acoustic phonons originating from ultrafast ligand field transitions in hematite thin films

Xu Yuea, Jin Zuan-Minga b, Zhang Zheng-Binga, Zhang Ze-Yua, Lin Xiana, Ma Guo-Honga, Cheng Zhen-Xiangc
a Laboratory of Ultrafast Photonics, Department of Physics, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China;
b Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany;
c Institute for Superconductor and Electronic Materials, University of Wollongong, Squires Way, North Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia
Abstract  The creation and propagation of longitudinal acoustic phonons (LAPs) in high quality hematite thin films (α-Fe2O3) epitaxially grown on different substrates (BaTiO3, SrTiO3, and LaAlO3) are investigated using the femtosecond pump-probe technique. Transient reflection measurements (ΔR/R) indicate the photo-excited electron dynamics, and the initial decay less than 1 ps and the slow decay of ~ 500 ps are attributed to the electron-LO phonon coupling and electron-hole nonradiative recombination, respectively. LAPs in α-Fe2O3 film can be created by ultrafast excitation of the ligand field state, such as the ligand field transitions under 800-nm excitation as well as the ligand to metal charge-transfer with 400-nm excitation. The strain modulations of the sound velocity and the out-of-plane elastic properties are demonstrated in α-Fe2O3 film on different substrates.
Keywords:  α-Fe2O3      pump-probe technique      acoustic phonons      ligand field  
Received:  12 June 2013      Revised:  11 August 2013      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  42.50.Md (Optical transient phenomena: quantum beats, photon echo, free-induction decay, dephasings and revivals, optical nutation, and self-induced transparency)  
  78.20.hb (Piezo-optical, elasto-optical, acousto-optical, and photoelastic effects)  
  78.47.J- (Ultrafast spectroscopy (<1 psec))  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11174195).
Corresponding Authors:  Ma Guo-Hong, Cheng Zhen-Xiang     E-mail:;
About author:  42.50.Md; 78.20.hb; 78.47.J-

Cite this article: 

Xu Yue, Jin Zuan-Ming, Zhang Zheng-Bing, Zhang Ze-Yu, Lin Xian, Ma Guo-Hong, Cheng Zhen-Xiang Gigahertz longitudinal acoustic phonons originating from ultrafast ligand field transitions in hematite thin films 2014 Chin. Phys. B 23 044206

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