High-frequency conductivity of optically excited charge carriers in hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon investigated by spectroscopic femtosecond pump–probe reflectivity measurements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


We report an investigation into the high-frequency conductivity of optically excited charge carriers far from equilibrium with the lattice. The investigated samples consist of hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon films grown on a thin film of silicon oxide on top of a silicon substrate. For the investigation, we used an optical femtosecond pump–probe setup to measure the reflectance change of a probe beam. The pump beam ranged between 580 and 820 nm, whereas the probe wavelength spanned 770 to 810 nm. The pump fluence was fixed at 0.6 mJ/cm2. We show that at a fixed delay time of 300 fs, the conductivity of the excited electron–hole plasma is described well by a classical conductivity model of a hot charge carrier gas found at Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, while Fermi–Dirac statics is not suitable. This is corroborated by values retrieved from pump–probe reflectance measurements of the conductivity and its dependence on the excitation wavelength and carrier temperature. The conductivity decreases monotonically as a function of the excitation wavelength, as expected for a nondegenerate charge carrier gas.


Original languageEnglish
JournalThin Solid Films
Early online date20 Mar 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Mar 2015


  • Nanomaterials, High-frequency conductivity, Nanosilicon, Ultrafast spectroscopy