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Title:Quantum Monte Carlo simulations of electrons and holes
Author(s):Shumway, John Beaumont
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ceperley, David M.
Department / Program:Physics
Subject(s):Quantum Monte Carlo simulations
electron excitations
hole excitations
Path integral Monte Carlo
local spin density approximation
density function theory
Abstract:Electron and hole excitations in semiconductors may be approximated as particles with effective masses which interact via Coulomb potentials. We study systems of electrons and holes with quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) techniques, covering three related areas: (1) elastic scattering of excitons, (2) thermodynamics of electron-hole plasmas, and (3) electrons confined in a quantum dot. Excitons are bound states of an electron and a hole, and obey Bose statistics. A low density exciton gas is an experimentally realizable dilute Bose gas. The scattering length a8 of a dilute Bose gas determines its properties, but is difficult to calculate. We present an essentially exact QMC treatment of exciton-exciton scattering, and find scattering lengths for different spin orientations of the excitons. At some mass ratios mh/me the scattering lengths diverge in conjunction with the appearance of biexciton vibrational states, an effect not found by earlier perturbative treatments. Path integral Monte Carlo (PIMC) is used to model the thermodynamics of the electron-hole plasma. Our primary interest is the Bose condensation of an excitonic gas. At low density and low temperature the spin-unpolarized system forms biexcitons. Since we are interested in Bose condensation, we study a spin-polarized system, which has no biexcitons. Restricted paths are used to handle the Fermion sign problem. With an appropriate choice of paired nodes for the restricted path approximation we find an excitonic Bose condensate. The energy of the low temperature, low density exciton gas determined from PIMC agrees well with the theory of dilute Bose gases, in which our previously calculated scattering length is used to model the exciton-exciton interactions. At higher densities the excitons are less well defined and the transition changes character. Finally, we study electrons in the inhomogeneous environment of a self-assembled InAs-GaAs quantum dot. We combine our ground state QMC treatment with another method, density functional theory (DFT) within the local spin density approximation (LSDA). Our comparison shows that LSDA is acceptable for treating interactions in the case considered, but recommend further tests for application of LSDA to larger dots or coupled dot systems.
Issue Date:1999
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Other Identifier(s):4268649
Rights Information:©1999 Shumway
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-23

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