Ultrafast energy transfer and strong dynamic non-condon effect on ligand field transitions by coherent phonon in gamma-Fe2O3 nanocrystals.
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Relaxation dynamics of an optically excited ligand field state and strong modulation of oscillator strengths of ligand field transitions by coherent acoustic phonon in gamma-Fe(2)O(3) nanocrystals were investigated through transient absorption measurements. A near-infrared pump beam prepared the lowest excited ligand field state of Fe(3+) ions preferentially on the tetrahedral coordination site. A time-delayed visible probe beam monitored the dynamics of various ligand field transitions and modification of their oscillator strengths by a coherent lattice motion. Transient absorption data exhibited dynamic features of a few distinct time scales, 100 fs, 1 ps, and 17-100 ps, as well as intense oscillatory features resulting from a coherent acoustic phonon. The initial decay of the induced absorption in 100 fs has been attributed to the exchange interaction-mediated energy transfer from the tetrahedral to octahedral Fe(3+) sites. The dynamics of slower time scales were assigned to the vibrational and electronic relaxations. Excitation of the ligand field state created a coherent acoustic phonon resulting in unusually intense modulation of the transient absorption signal despite its predominantly local nature and relatively small vibronic coupling. Excitation of each Fe(3+) ion in the nanocrystal was estimated to modulate up to 60% of its contribution to the total absorption intensity of the nanocrystal. The intense modulation of the absorption has been attributed to the strongly modulated oscillator strength of the ligand field transitions rather than oscillating Frank-Condon overlap. Dynamic modification of the metal-ligand orbital overlap and exchange interaction between the neighboring metal ions are the main factors responsible for the modulation of the oscillator strength.