Photon–Free-Electron Interaction

  • Karl W. Böer
  • Udo W. PohlEmail author
Living reference work entry

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The interaction of photons with free electrons or holes in the respective bands strongly influences optical absorption and reflection in the spectral region between the absorption edge and the Reststrahlen wavelength. In a driving external field, the ensemble of free electrons (or, at higher frequency, of valence-electrons) oscillates with respect to the ion cores on the whole, leading to a plasma resonance absorption. The plasmon dispersion has two branches with frequencies depending on the carrier density. Nonresonant carrier absorption occurs away from the resonance, with a free-electron contribution predominantly from indirect transitions within the conduction band, and prevalent direct transitions for holes. The spectra and underlying dispersion relations provide valuable information about the effective masses of electrons and holes, carrier concentrations, and carrier-relaxation times.


Cyclotron-resonance absorption Electron-plasma absorption Faraday effect Free-carrier absorption Free-electron dispersion Magnetoplasma reflection Photon-free-electron interaction Plasma frequency Plasmon Plasmon dispersion Valence-electron plasma absorption 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NaplesUSA
  2. 2.Institut für Festkörperphysik, EW5-1Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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