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Theory of exciton-phonon coupling


The effects of the electron-phonon interaction on optical excitations can be understood in terms of exciton-phonon coupling and require a careful treatment in low-dimensional materials with strongly bound excitons or strong electron-hole interaction in general. Through phonon absorption and emission processes, the optically accessible excitons are scattered into otherwise optically dark finite-momentum exciton states. We derive a practical expression for the phonon-induced term of the exciton self-energy (denoted as the exciton-phonon self-energy) that gives the temperature dependence of the optical transition energies and their lifetime broadening resulting from the exciton's interaction with the phonons. We illustrate this theory on a two-dimensional model and show that our expression for the exciton-phonon self-energy differs qualitatively from previous expressions found in the literature that neglect the exciton binding or electron-hole correlations.

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