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A new quasiparticle lurks in semiconductors

Electrons and holes gang up to act like a single particle dubbed a collexon

By
9:00am, July 26, 2018
large circular semiconductor

HIDING OUT   A new quasiparticle known as a collexon hints at complex interactions among quantum particles in semiconductors, such as this silicon wafer.

There’s a new clique among quantum particles in a semiconductor. 

Electrons and positively charged holes in the material’s atomic lattice band together to create a tight-knit posse dubbed a collexon, researchers report July 26 in Communications Physics. This new class of quasiparticle — a quantum clan that acts like a single subatomic particle — could help researchers better understand semiconductors, which are essential to most modern electronics.

The collexon is similar to a quasiparticle known as an exciton, a pairing of an electron and a hole (SN: 5/17/14, p. 5).  While these pairs go it alone in excitons, electron-hole duos in collexons join forces with the surrounding sea of electrons, Christian Nenstiel, a physicist at the Technical University of Berlin, and colleagues report.

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