Document Type


Publication Date



cuprous-oxide; low-temperature; decay; paraexcitons; molecules;thermodynamics; statistics; scattering; kinetics; silicon


Excitons in high-purity crystals of Cu2O undergo a density-dependent lifetime that opposes Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC). This rapid decay rate of excitons at a density n has generally been attributed to Auger recombination having the form dn/dt = -An(2), where A is an exciton-Auger constant. Various measurements of A, however, have reported values that are orders-of-magnitude larger than the existing theory. In response to this conundrum, recent work has suggested that excitons bind into excitonic molecules, or biexcitons, which are short-lived and expected to be optically inactive. Of particular interest is the case of excitons confined to a parabolic strain well-a method that has recently achieved exciton densities approaching BEC. In this paper we report time-and space-resolved luminescence data that supports the existence of short-lived biexcitons in a strain well, implying an exciton loss rate of the form dn/dt = -2 Cn(2) with a biexciton capture coefficient C(T) proportional to 1/T, as predicted by basic thermodynamics. This alternate theory will be considered in relation to recent experiments on the subject.


Also, see the following link for a presentation of the paper

Publisher Attribution

Wolfe, J. P., & Jang, J. I. (2014). The search for Bose–Einstein condensation of excitons in Cu2O: exciton-Auger recombination versus biexciton formation. New Journal of Physics, 16(12), 123048.

Included in

Physics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.