Year of Publication


Document Type



Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Joseph W. Brill


A searched for narrow-band-noise (NBN) modulations of the infrared transmission in blue bronze has been performed. No modulations were observed, giving an upper limits for NBN changes in the absorption coefficient of )2000/(/3.0.andlt;.cmNBN. The implication of these results on proposed CDW properties and NBN mechanisms are discussed. An infrared microscope with a capability of doing both reflectance and transmission measurements has been integrated into the previous electro-transmission system with tunable diode lasers. Electro-optic experiments were done using the microscope for the studies of the CDW states of K0.3MoO3 (blue bronze) and orthorhombic TaS3. The electro-reflectance signal for blue bronze has been evidenced for the first time. The infrared reflectance of K0.3MoO3 varied with position when a voltage greater than the CDW depinning threshold is applied. The spatial dependence of .R/R was slightly different than for ./, in that the magnitude of .R/R decreased and, for low voltages and frequencies, the signal became inverted near the contacts. Perhaps the differences might be associated with changes in the CDW properties on the surface. For blue bronze, the electro-reflectance signal was measured to be smaller than electro-transmittance signal by one order of magnitude for light polarized transverse to the chain direction, while the electro-reflectance signal for parallel polarized light was found to be a few times smaller than for transverse polarized light. The fits of the electro-reflectance spectrum showed that the changes in background dielectric constant were ~ 0.05 % and/or oscillator strength and/or frequency shifts of the phonons were ~ 0.05 % and ~ 0.005 cm-1 in the applied electric field. We also found that parallel polarized phonons are affected by CDW strain, and these changes dominate the electro-reflectance spectrum. We have examined the electro-reflectance spectra associated with CDW current investigation for light polarized parallel to the conducting chains for signs of expected current-induced intragap states, and conclude that the density of any such states is at most a few times less than expected. We have observed a large (~1%) change in infrared reflectance of orthorhombic TaS3, when its CDW is depinned. The change is concentrated near one current contact. Assuming that the change in reflectance is proportional to the degree of CDW polarization, we have studied the dynamics of CDW repolarization through position dependent measurements of the variation of the electro-reflectance with the frequency of square wave voltages applied to the sample, and have found that the response could be characterized as a damped harmonic oscillator with a distribution of relaxation (i.e. damping) times. The average relaxation time, which increases away from the contacts, varies with applied voltage as with p ~ 3/2, but the distribution of times broadens as the voltage approaches the depinning threshold. Very low resonant frequencies (~ 1 kHz) indicate a surprisingly large amount of inertia, which is observable in the time dependence of the change in reflectance as a polarity dependent delay of ~ 100 s.