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Self-focusing of electromagnetic waves in a degenerate electron-hole plasma


The free carrier nonlinear dielectric constant of a degenerate electron-hole plasma (e.g., Ge) in the presence of a Gaussian electromagnetic beam has been studied by a kinetic treatment. The redistribution of carriers (electrons and holes) is the source of nonlinearity and is effective in causing the self-focusing of the beam. The rise in carrier temperature due to the wave field is almost unaffected by the degeneracy, whereas the nonlinearity is considerably affected by it. The increase of degeneracy (by increasing the equilibrium carrier concentration at the fixed lattice temperature) increases the nonlinear dielectric constant. Hence self-focusing is enhanced by degeneracy.

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This work was supported by NSF (USA) and CSIR (India).

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Sodha, M.S., Kaushik, S.C. & Tripathi, V.K. Self-focusing of electromagnetic waves in a degenerate electron-hole plasma. Appl. Phys. 3, 141–148 (1974).

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Index Headings

  • Self-focusing of e.m. waves
  • Nonlinear media
  • Electron-hole plasma