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Time-resolved four-wave-mixing spectroscopy of excitons in a single quantum well

We have investigated, by fully-time-resolved degenerate four-wave mixing (FWM), excitonic coherence phenomena in single GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells which are known to exhibit localization. A magnetic field (0–12 T) was applied in Faraday geometry as a means of altering the nature of the excitonic transitions in a controlled manner. When the system is excited by a sequence of pulses tuned in resonance with the heavy-hole excitons, the predominant behavior observed at positive interpulse delays is beating in the FWM emission due to polarization interference between uncoupled excitons localized by monolayer islands. For negative interpulse delay the variation of beat phase with delay changes sign as the magnetic field is increased. In order to understand this feature, we modeled a coupled three-level system and included local field effects as a simple phenomenological approach to describing many-body terms. Comparison with experiments shows that with a larger magnetic field, the contribution to the signal from the coupled system reduces while that from two noninteracting two-level systems increases. We attribute this to the increased confinement of the excitons with field, leading to reduced wavefunction overlap, and hence reduced coupling.

View online : Phys. Rev. B, 75, 035317/1-8 (2007)