Confined longitudinal acoustic phonon modes in free-standing Si membranes coherently excited by femtosecond laser pulses

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Hudert, Florian ; Bruchhausen, Axel ; Issenmann, Daniel ; Schecker, Olivier ; Waitz, Reimar ; Erbe, Artur ; Scheer, Elke ; Dekorsy, Thomas ; Mlayah, Adnen ; Huntzinger, Jean-Roch (2009)

In this Rapid Communication we report the first time-resolved measurements of confined acoustic phonon modes in free-standing Si membranes excited by fs laser pulses. Pump-probe experiments using asynchronous optical sampling reveal the impulsive excitation of discrete acoustic modes up to the 19th harmonic order for membranes of two different thicknesses. The modulation of the membrane thickness is measured with fm resolution. The experimental results are compared with a theoretical model including the electronic deformation potential and thermal stress for the generation mechanism. The detection is modeled by the photoelastic effect and the thickness modulation of the membrane, which is shown to dominate the detection process. The lifetime of the acoustic modes is found to be at least a factor of 4 larger than that expected for bulk Si.
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