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Title:Angle-resolved photoemission studies of two-dimensional electron systems
Author(s):Liu, Yang
Director of Research:Chiang, Tai-Chang
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Abbamonte, Peter M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Chiang, Tai-Chang; Stone, Michael; Selen, Mats A.
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Quantum well states
electron-phonon coupling
metallic films
angle-resolved photoemission
vicinal surface
Abstract:This dissertation examines the electronic properties of 2D electron systems, including ultrathin metallic films grown on semiconductor substrates and graphite/graphene layers. Both systems are (quasi) two-dimensional and are of particular interest due to their technological importance. The major experimental tool is angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, which can directly measure the spectral function of the quasiparticle. The study of ultrathin metallic films focuses on the substrate effect on the electronic structure of the film. Thin metallic films can support quantum well states, which are essentially electronic standing waves. Our work on Ag films grown on Ge(111) demonstrates that the incommensurate interface potential results in strong modifications to quantum well states. The observed electronic interference structures are attributable to the mixing of electronic standing waves by the Ag-Ge interface potential. The complex Fermi surface, as a result of this interface scattering, can affect the electronic transport properties. An even stronger modification of quantum well states can be observed when the metal films are grown on stepped substrates. More specifically, our study of corrugated Ag/Pb films grown on Si(557)-Au surface reveals multiple sets of quantum well states that are centered at the Brillouin zone boundaries corresponding to the step modulation. This indicates that the valence electrons form coherent grating cavity modes which are defined by the corrugation geometry. Graphitic materials, made of sheets of carbon atomic layers, have unusual electronic structures known as Dirac cones. Our photoemission measurements of graphite/graphene layers reveal unexpected gaps at normal emission, one at ~67 meV and another much weaker one at ~150 meV. The major gap features persist up to room temperature, and diminish with increasing emission angles. We show that these gaps arise from electronic coupling to out-of-plane and in-plane vibrational modes at the point, respectively, in accordance with conservation laws and selection rules governed by quantum mechanics. Our study suggests a new approach for characterizing phonons and electron-phonon coupling in solids.
Issue Date:2011-01-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Yang Liu
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-14
Date Deposited:2010-12

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