ABSTRACT: The dynamics of two-dimensional small-polaron formation at ultrathin alkane layers on a silver(111) surface have been studied with femtosecond time- and angle-resolved two-photon photoemission spectroscopy. Optical excitation creates interfacial electrons in quasi-free states for motion parallel to the interface. These initially delocalized electrons self-trap as small polarons in a localized state within a few hundred femtoseconds. The localized electrons then decay back to the metal within picoseconds by tunneling through the adlayer potential barrier. The energy dependence of the self-trapping rate has been measured and modeled with a theory analogous to electron transfer theory. This analysis determines the inter- and intramolecular vibrational modes of the overlayer responsible for self-trapping as well as the relaxation energy of the overlayer molecular lattice. These results for a model interface contribute to the fundamental picture of electron behavior in weakly bonded solids and can lead to better understanding of carrier dynamics in many different systems, including organic light-emitting diodes.
Science 02/1998; 279(5348):202-5. · 31.20 Impact Factor
Physical Review Letters 05/1994; 72(14):2243-2246. · 7.37 Impact Factor
Physical Review Letters 01/1993; 69(24):3583-3586. · 7.37 Impact Factor