We have studied the time-resolved reflectivity and transmission changes induced by femtosecond laser pulses in hydrogenated and nonhydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films, a-Si:H and a-Si, respectively. By varying the pump power, and hence the photoexcited free-carrier densities, by several orders of magnitude, a quadratic, nonradiative recombination process has been identified that controls the density of free carriers on a picosecond time scale for excitation levels above 5×1018 cm-3 in a-Si:H and above 5×1019 cm-3 in a-Si. At lower free-carrier densities, the reflectivity transients display the dynamics expected from a trapping mechanism. We suggest that the process that dominates for the higher free-carrier densities may result from Auger recombination but with a dependence on the carrier density that is different from that which has been observed in crystalline semiconductors where k selection prevails.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics