We investigate the ultrafast electron dynamics of occupied quantum well states (QWSs) in Pb/Si(111) with time-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We find an ultrafast increase in binding energy of the QWSs driven by the optical excitation, while the electronic system is in a non-equilibrium state. We explain this transient energetic stabilization in the photoexcited state by an ultrafast modification of the Fermi level pinning, triggered by charge transfer across the Pb/Si interface. In addition, we observe the excitation of a coherent surface phonon mode at a frequency of ~2 THz, which modulates the QWS binding energy.
The original publication is available by link DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/14/2/023047