Time dependence of the laser-induced femtosecond lattice instability of Si and GaAs: Role of longitudinal optical distortions
We extend our previous analysis of the ultrafast laser-induced instability of the diamond structure of semiconductors by including longitudinal optical-phonon distortions in addition to the instability of the transverse acoustic phonons. Generally, longitudinal optical distortions enhance the instability of the transverse acoustic phonons, increasing the kinetic energy of the atoms and the final lattice temperature. These phonons make a transition to a centrosymmetric structure of GaAs with metallic properties possible. We present results for the time dependence of the instability of Si for the case where 15% of the valence electrons have been excited into the conduction band. Thus, already 100 fsec after the excitation of the plasma the atoms are displaced about 1 Å from their equilibrium position and their kinetic energy has increased to approximately 0.4 eV. Collisions between the atoms then lead to a rapid melting of the crystal. These results are in good agreement with recent experiments performed on Si and GaAs.