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- Institut für Physik und Astronomie (19) (remove)

We present a temperature and fluence dependent Ultrafast X-Ray Diffraction study of a laser-heated antiferromagnetic dysprosium thin film. The loss of antiferromagnetic order is evidenced by a pronounced lattice contraction. We devise a method to determine the energy flow between the phonon and spin system from calibrated Bragg peak positions in thermal equilibrium. Reestablishing the magnetic order is much slower than the cooling of the lattice, especially around the Néel temperature. Despite the pronounced magnetostriction, the transfer of energy from the spin system to the phonons in Dy is slow after the spin-order is lost.

The gravitational field of a laser pulse of finite lifetime, is investigated in the framework of linearized gravity. Although the effects are very small, they may be of fundamental physical interest. It is shown that the gravitational field of a linearly polarized light pulse is modulated as the norm of the corresponding electric field strength, while no modulations arise for circular polarization. In general, the gravitational field is independent of the polarization direction. It is shown that all physical effects are confined to spherical shells expanding with the speed of light, and that these shells are imprints of the spacetime events representing emission and absorption of the pulse. Nearby test particles at rest are attracted towards the pulse trajectory by the gravitational field due to the emission of the pulse, and they are repelled from the pulse trajectory by the gravitational field due to its absorption. Examples are given for the size of the attractive effect. It is recovered that massless test particles do not experience any physical effect if they are co-propagating with the pulse, and that the acceleration of massless test particles counter-propagating with respect to the pulse is four times stronger than for massive particles
at rest. The similarities between the gravitational effect of a laser pulse and Newtonian gravity in two dimensions are pointed out. The spacetime curvature close to the pulse is compared to that induced by gravitational waves from astronomical sources.

Compared to their inorganic counterparts, organic semiconductors suffer from relatively low charge carrier mobilities. Therefore, expressions derived for inorganic solar cells to correlate characteristic performance parameters to material properties are prone to fail when applied to organic devices. This is especially true for the classical Shockley-equation commonly used to describe current-voltage (JV)-curves, as it assumes a high electrical conductivity of the charge transporting material. Here, an analytical expression for the JV-curves of organic solar cells is derived based on a previously published analytical model. This expression, bearing a similar functional dependence as the Shockley-equation, delivers a new figure of merit α to express the balance between free charge recombination and extraction in low mobility photoactive materials. This figure of merit is shown to determine critical device parameters such as the apparent series resistance and the fill factor.

Changes in extratropical storm track activity and their implications for extreme weather events
(2016)

Recombination of free charge is a key process limiting the performance of solar cells. For low mobility materials, such as organic semiconductors, the kinetics of non-geminate recombination (NGR) is strongly linked to the motion of charges. As these materials possess significant disorder, thermalization of photogenerated carriers in the inhomogeneously broadened density of state distribution is an unavoidable process. Despite its general importance, knowledge about the kinetics of NGR in complete organic solar cells is rather limited. We employ time delayed collection field (TDCF) experiments to study the recombination of photogenerated charge in the high-performance polymer:fullerene blend PCDTBT:PCBM. NGR in the bulk of this amorphous blend is shown to be highly dispersive, with a continuous reduction of the recombination coefficient throughout the entire time scale, until all charge carriers have either been extracted or recombined. Rapid, contact-mediated recombination is identified as an additional loss channel, which, if not properly taken into account, would erroneously suggest a pronounced field dependence of charge generation. These findings are in stark contrast to the results of TDCF experiments on photovoltaic devices made from ordered blends, such as P3HT:PCBM, where non-dispersive recombination was proven to dominate the charge carrier dynamics under application relevant conditions.

In the first part of my work I have investigated the ageing properties of the first passage time distributions in a one-dimensional subdiffusive continuous time random walk with power law distributed waiting times of the form $\psi(\tau) \sim \tau^{-1-\alpha}$ with $0<\alpha<1$ and $1<\alpha<2$. The age or ageing time $t_a$ is the time span from the start of the stochastic process to the start of the observation of this process (at $t=0$). I have calculated the results for a single target and two targets, also including the biased case, where the walker is driven towards the boundary by a constant force. I have furthermore refined the previously derived results for the non-ageing case and investigated the changes that occur when the walk is performed in a discrete quenched energy landscape, where the waiting times are fixed for every site. The results include the exact Laplace space densities and infinite (converging) series as exact results in the time space. The main results are the dominating long time power law behavior regimes, which depend on the ageing time. For the case of unbiased subdiffusion ($\alpha < 1$) in the presence of one target, I find three different dominant terms for ranges of $t$ separated by $t_a$ and another crossover time $t^{\star}$, which depends on $t_a$ as well as on the anomalous exponent $\alpha$ and the anomalous diffusion coefficient $K_{\alpha}$. In all three regimes ($t \ll t_a$, $t_a \ll t \ll t^{\star}$, $t \gg t^{\star}$) one finds power law decay with exponents depending on $\alpha$. The middle regime only exists for $t_a \ll t^{\star}$. The dominant terms in the first two regimes (ageing regimes) come from the probability distribution of the forward waiting time, the time one has to wait for the stochastic process to make the first step during the observation. When the observation time is larger than the second crossover time $t^{\star}$, the first passage time density does not show ageing and the non-ageing first passage time dominates. The power law exponents in the respective regimes are $-\alpha$ for strong ageing, $-1-\alpha$ in the intermediate regime, and $-1-\alpha/2$ in the final non-ageing regime. A similar split into three regimes can be found for $1<\alpha<2$, only with a different second crossover time $t^*$. In this regime the diffusion is normal but also age-dependent. For the diffusion in quenched energy landscapes one cannot detect ageing. The first passage time density shows a quenched power law $^\sim t^{-(1+2\alpha)/(1+\alpha)}$. For diffusion between two target sites and the biased diffusion towards a target only two scaling regimes emerge, separated by the ageing time. In the ageing case $t \ll t_a$ the forward waiting time is again dominant with power law exponent $-\alpha$, while the non-ageing power law $-1-\alpha$ is found for all times $t \gg t_a$. An intermediate regime does not exist. The bias and the confinement have similar effects on the first passage time density. For quenched diffusion, the biased case is interesting, as the bias reduces correlations due to revisiting of the same waiting time. As a result, CTRW like behavior is observed, including ageing. Extensive computer simulations support my findings.
The second part of my research was done on the subject of ageing Scher-Montroll transport, which is in parts closely related to the first passage densities. It explains the electrical current in an amorphous material. I have investigated the effect of the width of a given initial distribution of charge carriers on the transport coefficients as well as the ageing effect on the emerging power law regimes and a constant initial regime. While a spread out initial distribution has only little impact on the Scher-Montroll current, ageing alters the behavior drastically. Instead of the two classical power laws one finds four current regimes, up to three of which can appear in a single experiment. The dominant power laws differ for $t \ll t_a, t_c$, $t_a \ll t \ll t_c$, $t_c \ll t \ll t_a$, and $t \gg t_a,t_c$. Here, $t_c$ is the crossover time of the non-aged Scher-Montroll current. For strongly aged systems one can observe a constant current in the first regime while the others are dominated by decaying power laws with exponents $\alpha -1$, $-\alpha$, and $-1-\alpha$. The ageing regimes are the 1st and 3rd one, while the classical regimes are the 2nd and the 4th. I have verified the theory using numerical integration of the exact integrals and applied the new results to experimental data.
In the third part I considered a single file of subdiffusing particles in an energy landscape. Every occupied site of the landscape acts as a boundary, from which a particle is immediately reflected to its previous site, if it tries to jump there. I have analysed the effects single-file diffusion a quenched landscape compared to an annealed landscape and I have related these results to the number of steps and related quantities. The diffusion changes from ultraslow logarithmic diffusion in the annealed or CTRW case to subdiffusion with an anomalous exponent $\alpha/(1+\alpha)$ in the quenched landscape. The behavior is caused by the forward waiting time, which changes drastically from the quenched to the annealed case. Single-file effects in the quenched landscape are even more complicated to consider in the ensemble average, since the diffusion in individual landscapes shows extremely diverse behavior. Extensive simulations support my theoretical arguments, which consider mainly the long time evolution of the mean square displacement of a bulk particle.

What are the physical laws of the mutual interactions of objects bound to cell membranes, such as various membrane proteins or elongated virus particles? To rationalise this, we here investigate by extensive computer simulations mutual interactions of rod-like particles adsorbed on the surface of responsive elastic two-dimensional sheets. Specifically, we quantify sheet deformations as a response to adhesion of such filamentous particles. We demonstrate that tip-to-tip contacts of rods are favoured for relatively soft sheets, while side-by-side contacts are preferred for stiffer elastic substrates. These attractive orientation-dependent substrate-mediated interactions between the rod-like particles on responsive sheets can drive their aggregation and self-assembly. The optimal orientation of the membrane-bound rods is established via responding to the elastic energy profiles created around the particles. We unveil the phase diagramme of attractive–repulsive rod–rod interactions in the plane of their separation and mutual orientation. Applications of our results to other systems featuring membrane-associated particles are also discussed.

The strong adhesion of sub-micron sized particles to surfaces is a nuisance, both for removing contaminating colloids from surfaces and for conscious manipulation of particles to create and test novel micro/nano-scale assemblies. The obvious idea of using detergents to ease these processes suffers from a lack of control: the action of any conventional surface-modifying agent is immediate and global. With photosensitive azobenzene containing surfactants we overcome these limitations. Such photo-soaps contain optical switches (azobenzene molecules), which upon illumination with light of appropriate wavelength undergo reversible trans-cis photo-isomerization resulting in a subsequent change of the physico-chemical molecular properties. In this work we show that when a spatial gradient in the composition of trans- and cis- isomers is created near a solid-liquid interface, a substantial hydrodynamic flow can be initiated, the spatial extent of which can be set, e.g., by the shape of a laser spot. We propose the concept of light induced diffusioosmosis driving the flow, which can remove, gather or pattern a particle assembly at a solid-liquid interface. In other words, in addition to providing a soap we implement selectivity: particles are mobilized and moved at the time of illumination, and only across the illuminated area.

We study the adsorption–desorption transition of polyelectrolyte chains onto planar, cylindrical and spherical surfaces with arbitrarily high surface charge densities by massive Monte Carlo computer simulations. We examine in detail how the well known scaling relations for the threshold transition—demarcating the adsorbed and desorbed domains of a polyelectrolyte near weakly charged surfaces—are altered for highly charged interfaces. In virtue of high surface potentials and large surface charge densities, the Debye–Hückel approximation is often not feasible and the nonlinear Poisson–Boltzmann approach should be implemented. At low salt conditions, for instance, the electrostatic potential from the nonlinear Poisson–Boltzmann equation is smaller than the Debye–Hückel result, such that the required critical surface charge density for polyelectrolyte adsorption σc increases. The nonlinear relation between the surface charge density and electrostatic potential leads to a sharply increasing critical surface charge density with growing ionic strength, imposing an additional limit to the critical salt concentration above which no polyelectrolyte adsorption occurs at all. We contrast our simulations findings with the known scaling results for weak critical polyelectrolyte adsorption onto oppositely charged surfaces for the three standard geometries. Finally, we discuss some applications of our results for some physical–chemical and biophysical systems.

We investigate the ensemble and time averaged mean squared displacements for particle diffusion in a simple model for disordered media by assuming that the local diffusivity is both fluctuating in time and has a deterministic average growth or decay in time. In this study we compare computer simulations of the stochastic Langevin equation for this random diffusion process with analytical results. We explore the regimes of normal Brownian motion as well as anomalous diffusion in the sub- and superdiffusive regimes. We also consider effects of the inertial term on the particle motion. The investigation of the resulting diffusion is performed for unconfined and confined motion.

It is quite generally assumed that the overdamped Langevin equation provides a quantitative description of the dynamics of a classical Brownian particle in the long time limit. We establish and investigate a paradigm anomalous diffusion process governed by an underdamped Langevin equation with an explicit time dependence of the system temperature and thus the diffusion and damping coefficients. We show that for this underdamped scaled Brownian motion (UDSBM) the overdamped limit fails to describe the long time behaviour of the system and may practically even not exist at all for a certain range of the parameter values. Thus persistent inertial effects play a non-negligible role even at significantly long times. From this study a general questions on the applicability of the overdamped limit to describe the long time motion of an anomalously diffusing particle arises, with profound consequences for the relevance of overdamped anomalous diffusion models. We elucidate our results in view of analytical and simulations results for the anomalous diffusion of particles in free cooling granular gases.