Phase Diagram of Degenerate Exciton Systems

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Science  23 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5657, pp. 503-506
DOI: 10.1126/science.1092691

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Degenerate exciton systems have been produced in quasi–two-dimensional confined areas in semiconductor coupled quantum well structures. We observed contractions of clouds containing tens of thousands of excitons within areas as small as (10 μm)2 near 10 kelvin. The spatial and energy distributions of optically active excitons were determined by measuring photoluminescence as a function of temperature and laser excitation and were used as thermodynamic quantities to construct the phase diagram of the exciton system, which demonstrates the existence of distinct phases. Understanding the formation mechanisms of these degenerate exciton systems can open new opportunities for the realization of Bose-Einstein condensation in the solid state.

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