Influence of Static Electric Fields

  • Wilfried Schäfer
  • Martin Wegener
Part of the Advanced Texts in Physics book series (ADTP)


If a static electric field is applied to a hydrogen atom, the well-known Stark effect shifts its energy levels towards lower energy and lifts degeneracies. For atoms, the Rydberg energy is typically much larger than the induced level shifts (accessible electric fields are usually smaller than a few 105V/cm). The situation is reversed for excitons in semiconductors. From perturbation theory, one obtains the result that the electric-field induced shifts are expected to be comparable to or even larger than the exciton Rydberg energy. But perturbation theory fails because electrons and holes are ripped apart by the field and true bound states do not exist. Owing to this field ionization, the exciton line broadens considerably and exhibits an absorption tail well below the excitonic resonance. With increasing fields, the resonance disappears before any appreciable shift is observed. Above the band edge, the electric field brings about an oscillatory behavior of the absorption coefficient. Both features, the oscillations and the absorption tail, were predicted long ago and constitute the Franz-Keldysh effect [156, 157, 158]. The corresponding theory, however, is insufficient to describe electroabsorption in bulk semiconductors quantitatively.


Airy Function Transition Matrix Element Static Electric Field Uniform Electric Field Bloch Oscillation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilfried Schäfer
    • 1
  • Martin Wegener
    • 2
  1. 1.Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJohn von Neumann - Institut für ComputingJülichGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Angewandte PhysikUniversität Karlsruhe (TH)KarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations