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The scattering of high-frequency acoustic phonons in silicon and GaAs

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Title: The scattering of high-frequency acoustic phonons in silicon and GaAs
Author(s): Shields, Jeffrey Allan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Wolfe, J. P.
Department / Program: Physics
Discipline: Physics
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): phonon scattering high-frequency acoustic phonons silicon GaAs phonon imaging
Abstract: The production and propagation of high-frequency acoustic phonons in silicon and GaAs are studied at low temperatures (~ 2K) using the phonon imaging technique. In this technique, a heat source is provided by a focused laser beam which is raster scanned across the surface of the sample which is immersed in liquid helium. After they propagate across the sample, the acoustic phonons produced by the heat .source are detected by a small superconducting detector. The spatial distribution of the ballistic phonon flux is highly anisotropic due to the phonon focusing effect. In this thesis, the characteristics of the phonon source produced by the focused laser . beam have been studied extensively in silicon. The phonon source consists of a small region in the crystal in which the phonon occupation number is elevated with respect to the rest of the crystal. The lifetime and frequency distribution of the phonon source are found to vary dramatically with different boundary conditions, such as whether the surface is of the sample is metalized or whether the excitation surface is in contact with liquid helium. The laser power level also has profound effects on the characteristics of the phonon source, and a threshold of some sort has been observed at low power. The phonon frequency determines the likelihood that the phonon will traverse the sample ballistically since the elastic scattering rate depends on the phonon frequency to the fourth power. A special sample geometry allows the first direct measurement of the elastic scattering rate in silicon by comparing the experimental data with Monte Carlo calculations of the elastic scattering. The phonon focusing p~ttern changes at very high phonon frequencies due to lattice dispersion. Observations of dispersive effects in the phonon focusing pattern of silicon have been made and the effect of various lattice dynamics models on the Monte Carlo calculations of the elastic scattering in silicon are presented. Phonon scattering from defects in GaAs has been studied and dramatic effects in the phonon focusing pattern have been observed with near infrared irradiation of the crystal. Previous studies have indicated that the EL2 defect is changed from its normal state into a metastable state under irradiation with infrared light. We observe changes in the phonon scattering after irradiation which indicate a decrease in inelastic phonon scattering with the transition to the metastable state.
Issue Date: 1992
Genre: Dissertation / Thesis
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18903
Rights Information: 1992 Jeffrey Allan Shields
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-03
Identifier in Online Catalog: 3476328
 

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