We report on a direct observation of free-exciton thermalization in quantum-well structures. A narrow energy distribution of free 1s excitons is created in ZnSe-based quantum wells by emission of one LO phonon after optical excitation of the continuum stales with picosecond laser pulses. The subsequent relaxation dynamics within the 1s-exciton dispersion is directly monitored by time-resolved studies of the phonon-assisted photoluminescence. It is demonstrated that the free-exciton distribution remains nonthermal for some 100 ps. The observed dynamics is in reasonable agreement with numerical results of a rate-equation model which accounts for the relevant exciton-phonon coupling mechanisms.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (1998) by the American Physical Society.
- QUASI-2-DIMENSIONAL EXCITONS
- MOLECULAR-BEAM EPITAXY
- ENERGY RELAXATION