We have observed a large spin splitting between "spin" +1 and -1 heavy-hole excitons, having unbalanced populations, in undoped GaAs/AlAs quantum wells in the absence of any external magnetic field. Time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy, under excitation with circularly polarized light, reveals that, for high excitonic density and short times after the pulsed excitation, the emission from majority excitons lies above that of minority ones. The amount of the splitting, which can be as large as 50% of the binding energy, increases with excitonic density and presents a time evolution closely connected with the degree of polarization of the luminescence. Our results are interpreted on the light of a recently developed model, which shows that, while intraexcitonic exchange interaction is responsible for the spin relaxation processes, exciton-exciton interaction produces a breaking of the spin degeneracy in two-dimensional semiconductors.This research was supported in part by the Comisión Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnología of Spain under Contract No. MAT 94-0982-C02 and by the Commission of European Communities under Contract Ultrafast CHRX-CT93-0133
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