Infoscience

Review

An experimentalist's guide to the matrix element in angle resolved photoemission

Angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) is commonly known as a powerful probe of the one-electron removal spectral function in ordered solid state. With increasing efficiency of light sources and spectrometers, experiments over a wide range of emission angles become more and more common. Consequently, the angular variation of ARPES spectral weight - often times termed "matrix element effect"- enters as an additional source of information. In this tutorial, we develop a simple but instructive free electron final state approach based on the three-step model to describe the intensity distribution in ARPES. We find a compact expression showing that the ARPES spectral weight of a given Bloch band is essentially determined by the momentum distribution (the Fourier transform) of its associated Wannier orbital - times a polarization dependent pre-factor. While the former is giving direct information on the symmetry and shape of the electronic wave function, the latter can give rise to surprising geometric effects. We discuss a variety of modern and instructive experimental showcases for which this simplistic formalism works astonishingly well and discuss the limits of this approach. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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