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In condensed matter physics, biexcitons are created from two free excitons.

Formation of biexcitons[edit]

In quantum information and computation, it is essential to construct coherent combinations of quantum states. The basic quantum operations can be performed on a sequence of pairs of physically distinguishable quantum bits and, therefore, can be illustrated by a simple four-level system.

In an optically driven system where the | 0 1 \rangle and | 1 0 \rangle states can be directly excited, direct excitation of the upper | 1 1 \rangle level from the ground state | 0 0 \rangle is usually forbidden and the most efficient alternative is coherent nondegenerate two-photon excitation, using | 0 1 \rangle or | 1 0 \rangle as an intermediate state. [1] [2]

Model for a single quantum dots. E_b is the biexciton binding energy

Observation of biexcitons[edit]

Three possibilities of observing biexcitons exist: [3]

(a) excitation from the one-exciton band to the biexciton band (pump-probe experiments);

(b) two-photon absorption of light from the ground state to the biexciton state;

(c) luminescence from a biexciton state made up from two free excitons in a dense exciton system.

Binding energy of biexcitons[edit]

The biexciton is a quasi-particle formed from two excitons, and its energy is expressed as

E_{b} = 2 E_{X} - E_{XX}

where E_{XX} is the biexciton energy, E_{X} is the exciton energy, and

E_{b} is the biexciton binding energy.

When a biexciton is annihilated, it disintegrates into a free exciton and a photon. The energy of the photon is smaller than that of the biexciton by the biexciton binding energy, so the biexciton luminescence peak appears on the low-energy side of the exciton peak.

The biexciton binding energy in semiconductor quantum dots has been the subject of extensive theoretical study. Because a biexciton is a composite of two electrons and two holes, we must solve a four-body problem under spatially restricted conditions. The biexciton binding energies for CuCl quantum dots, as measured by the site selective luminescence method, increased with decreasing quantum dot size. The data were well fitted by the function

B_{XX} = \frac{c_1}{a^2} + \frac{c_2}{a} + B_{bulk}

where B_{XX} is biexciton binding energy, a is the radius of the quantum dots, B_{bulk} is the binding energy of bulk crystal, and c_1 and c_2 are fitting parameters. [4]

A simple model for describing binding energy of biexcitons[edit]

In the effective-mass approximation, the Hamiltonian of the system consisting of two electrons (1, 2) and two holes (a, b) is given by

H_{XX} = - \frac{\hbar^2}{2 m_e^*} ({\nabla_1}^2 + {\nabla_2}^2) - \frac{\hbar^2}{2 m_h^*} ({\nabla_a}^2 + {\nabla_b}^2) + V

where m_e^* and m_h^* are the effective masses of electrons and holes, respectively, and

V = V_{12} - V_{1a} - V_{1b} - V_{2a} - V_{2b} + V_{ab}

where V_{ij} denotes the Coulomb interaction between the charged particles i and j (i, j = 1, 2, a, b denote the two electrons and two holes in the biexciton) given by

V_{ij} = \frac{e^2}{\epsilon |\mathbf{r}_i - \mathbf{r}_j|}

where \epsilon is the dielectric constant of the material.

Denoting \mathbf{R} and \mathbf{r} are the c.m. coordinate and the relative coordinate of the biexciton, respectively, and M = m_e^* + m_h^* is the effective mass of the exciton, the Hamiltonian becomes

H_{XX} = - \frac{\hbar^2}{4 M} {\nabla_R}^2 - \frac{\hbar^2}{M} {\nabla_r}^2 - \frac{\hbar^2}{2 \mu} ({\nabla_{1a}}^2 + {\nabla_{2b}}^2) + V

where 1/\mu = 1/{m_e^*} + 1/{m_h^*}; {\nabla_{1a}}^2 and {\nabla_{2b}}^2 are the Laplacians with respect to relative coordinates between electron and hole, respectively. And {\nabla_r}^2 is that with respect to relative coordinate between the c. m. of excitons, and {\nabla_R}^2 is that with respect to the c. m. coordinate \mathbf{R} of the system.

In the units of the exciton Rydberg and Bohr radius, the Hamiltonian can be written in dimensionless form

H_{XX} = - ({\nabla_{1a}}^2 + {\nabla_{2b}}^2) - {2 \sigma}{(1 + \sigma)^2} {\nabla_r}^2 + V

where \sigma = {m_e^*}/{m_h^*} with neglecting kinetic energy operator of c. m. motion. And V can be written as

V = 2 (\frac{1}{r_{12}} - \frac{1}{r_{1a}} - \frac{1}{r_{1b}} - \frac{1}{r_{2a}} - \frac{1}{r_{2b}} + \frac{1}{r_{ab}})

To solve the problem of the bound states of the biexciton complex, it is required to find the wave functions \psi satisfying the wave equation

H_{XX} \psi = E_{XX} \psi

If the eigenvalue E_{XX} can be obtained, the binding energy of the biexciton can be also acquired

E_{b} = 2 E_{X} - E_{XX}

where E_{b} is the binding energy of the biexciton and E_{X} is the energy of exciton. [5]

Binding energy in nanotubes[edit]

Biexcitons with bound complexes formed by two excitons are predicted to be surprisingly stable for carbon nanotube in a wide diameter range. Thus, a biexciton binding energy exceeding the inhomogeneous exciton line width is predicted for a wide range of nanotubes.

The biexciton binding energy in carbon nanotube is quite accurately approximated by an inverse dependence on r, except perhaps for the smallest values of r.

E_{XX} \approx \frac{0.195 eV}{r}

The actual biexciton binding energy is inversely proportional to the physical nanotube radius. [6] Experimental evidence of biexcitons has yet to be found.

Binding energy in CuCl QDs[edit]

The binding energy of biexcitons increase with the decrease in their size and its size dependence and bulk value are well represented by the expression

\frac{78}{{a^*}^2} + \frac{52}{{a^*}} + 33 (meV)

where a^* is the effective radius of microcrystallites in a unit of nm. The enhanced Coulomb interaction in microcrystallites still increase the biexciton binding energy in the large-size regime, where the quantum confinement energy of excitons is not considerable. [7]


  1. ^ G. Chen et al, "Biexciton Quantum Coherence in a Single Quantum Dot", Phys. Rev. Lett., 88 (11), 117901 (2002)
  2. ^ Xiaoqin Li et al, "An All-Optical Quantum Gate in a Semiconductor Quantum Dot", Science, 301, 809 (2003)
  3. ^ G. Vektrais, "A new approach to the molecular biexciton theory", J. Chem. Phys., 101 (4), 3031 (1994)
  4. ^ S. Park et al, "Fabrication of CuCl Quantum Dots and the Size Dependence of the Biexciton Binding Energy", Journal of the Korean Physical Society, 37 (3), 309-312 (2000)
  5. ^ J. Liu et al, "Binding Energy of biexcitons in Two-Dimensional Semiconductors", Chin. Phys. Lett., 15 (8), 588 (1998)
  6. ^ T. G. Perdersen et al, "Stability and Signatures of biexcitons in Carbon nanotubes", Nanolett., 5 (2), 291 (2005)
  7. ^ Y. Masumoto et al, "Biexciton binding energy in CuCl quantum dots", Phys. Rev. B, 50 (24), 18658 (1994)