Evidence for photogenerated intermediate hole polarons in ZnO

H. Sezen, H. Shang, F. Bebensee, Chengwu Yang, M. Buchholz, A. Nefedov, S. Heissler, C. Carbogno, M. Scheffler, P. Rinke, C. Wöll

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32 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite their pronounced importance for oxide-based photochemistry, optoelectronics and photovoltaics, only fairly little is known about the polaron lifetimes and binding energies. Polarons represent a crucial intermediate step populated immediately after dissociation of the excitons formed in the primary photoabsorption process. Here we present a novel approach to studying photoexcited polarons in an important photoactive oxide, ZnO, using infrared (IR) reflection–absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) with a time resolution of 100 ms. For well-defined (10-10) oriented ZnO single-crystal substrates, we observe intense IR absorption bands at around 200 meV exhibiting a pronounced temperature dependence. On the basis of first-principles-based electronic structure calculations, we assign these features to hole polarons of intermediate coupling strength.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6901
Pages (from-to)1-4
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • first principles
  • infrared spectroscopy
  • polarons
  • ZnO

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