We develop a computationally inexpensive model to examine the dynamics of boson-assisted electron relaxation in solids, studying nonequilibrium dynamics in a metal, in a nodal superconductor with a stationary density of states, and in a nodal superconductor where the gap dynamically opens. In the metallic system, the electron population resembles a thermal population at all times, but the presence of even a fixed nodal gap both invalidates a purely thermal treatment and sharply curtails relaxation rates. For a gap that is allowed to open as electron relaxation proceeds, effects are even more pronounced, and gap dynamics become coupled to the dynamics of the electron population. Comparisons to experiments reveal that phase-space restrictions in the presence of a gap are likely to play a significant role in the widespread observation of coexisting femtosecond and picosecond dynamics in the cuprate high-temperature superconductors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics