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I report on the effect of a moderate excess electron population on nonlinearities in modulation-doped CdTe quantum wells. I show that the electron population does not qualitatively affect the nature of correlations between excitons. In this respect, I bring strong evidence of the existence of unbound and bound (stable) two-exciton states in the presence of electrons and charged excitons (trions). In time-resolved pump and probe experiment, they lead to the observation of electromagnetically induced transparency and optical Stark shift of the exciton resonance. Rabi flopping of excitons within a sea of electrons is also clearly evidenced through ac Stark splitting and gain without inversion. The quantum coherence is more robust to electron induced dephasing than what would have been expected. I demonstrate third and higher-order exciton correlations in the presence of electrons, which manifest, for increasing exciton densities, through the blue-shift of counter-polarized exciton resonance, the red-shift of the biexciton resonance and the exciton to biexciton crossover. I also evidence correlated behavior of excitons and trions under excitation which manifests itself by crossed trion-exciton effects. I observe a wealth of phenomena encompassing bleaching, crossed bleaching, induced-absorption and energy shifts of the resonances. Significant differences are found between the nonlinear optical effects induced by an exciton and a trion population. Electron scattering with electron and exciton is shown to strongly broaden the high energy tail of exciton and trion resonance lineshapes. Variations of electron density result in a clear modification of both resonance lineshapes. The dynamics of the formation of trions is also studied. I propose a two-channel mechanism for their formation; they are formed through bi- and tri-molecular processes. This implies that both negatively and positively charged excitons coexist in a quantum well, even in the absence of excess carriers. The model is applied to a time-resolved photoluminescence experiment performed on a very high quality InGaAs quantum well sample, in which the photoluminescence contributions at the energy of the trion, exciton and at the band edge can be clearly separated and traced over a broad range of times and densities. The unresolved discrepancy between the theoretical and experimental radiative decay time of the exciton in a doped semiconductor is explained.