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Exciton strings in an organic charge-transfer crystal


COLLECTIVE excitations resulting from many-body Coulomb interactions have been studied extensively in the solid state1: for example, the exchange interaction between the electrons in two excitons (bound electron–hole pairs) can bind the excitons together, forming a biexciton. At the other extreme, if the number of excitons is sufficiently large (106), they can condense into a degenerate 'liquid' phase known as an electron–hole drop. But in conventional semiconductors, intermediate bound states, consisting of more than two excitons, are not formed. We show here, both theoretically and experimentally, that bound states of multiple excitons can form in the organic charge-transfer solid anthracene–(pyromellitic acid dianhydride). Coulomb interactions along the one-dimensional stacks of this material can stabilize trains of several charge-transfer excitons, and we refer to the resulting collective excitations as exciton strings.

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Kuwata-Gonokami, M., Peyghambarian, N., Meissner, K. et al. Exciton strings in an organic charge-transfer crystal. Nature 367, 47–48 (1994).

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