Probing Collective Oscillation of d-Orbital Electrons at the Nanoscale: Article No. 061102

Derek Vigil-Fowler, Rohan Dhall, J. Dycus, Ronny Kirste, Seiji Mita, Zlatko Sitar, Ramon Collazo, James LeBeau

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1 Scopus Citations


Here, we demonstrate that high energy electrons can be used to explore the collective oscillation of s, p, and d orbital electrons at the nanometer length scale. Using epitaxial AlGaN/AlN quantum wells as a test system, we observe the emergence of additional features in the loss spectrum with the increasing Ga content. A comparison of the observed spectra with ab-initio theory reveals that the origin of these spectral features lies in excitations of 3d-electrons contributed by Ga. We find that these modes differ in energy from the valence electron plasmons in Al1-xGaxN due to the different polarizabilities of the d electrons. Finally, we study the dependence of observed spectral features on the Ga content, lending insights into the origin of these spectral features, and their coupling with electron-hole excitations.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2C00-71049


  • band structure
  • condensed matter electronic structure
  • epitaxy
  • plasmons
  • quantum wells


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