- Nuclear polaron beyond the mean-field approximation doi link

Auteur(s): Scalbert D.

(Article) Publié: Physical Review B, vol. 95 p.245209 (2017)

Ref HAL: hal-01562859_v1
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.245209
Exporter : BibTex | endNote

In III-V semiconductors it was shown theoretically that under optical cooling the nuclear-spin polaron bound to neutral donors would form below some critical nuclear-spin temperature Tc [Merkulov, Phys. Solid State 40, 930 (1998)]. The predicted critical behavior is a direct consequence of the use of the mean-field approximation. It is known however that in any finite-size system a critical behavior must be absent. Here we develop a model of the optically cooled nuclear polaron, which goes beyond the mean-field approximation. An expression of the generalized free energy of the optically cooled nuclear polaron, valid for a finite, albeit large, number of spins, is derived. This model permits us to describe the continuous transition from the fluctuation dominated regime to the collective regime, as the nuclear-spin temperature decreases. It is shown that due to the finite number of nuclear spins involved in the polaron, the critical effects close to Tc are smoothed by the spin fluctuations. Particularly, instead of a divergence, the nuclear-spin fluctuations exhibit a sharp peak at Tc, before being depressed well below Tc. Interestingly, the formation of the nuclear polaron can, in certain conditions, boost the nuclear polarization beyond the value obtained solely by optical pumping. Finally, we suggest that the nuclear polaron could be detected by spin noise spectroscopy or via its superparamagnetic behavior.