A piezoelectric semiconductor CdS1-xSex crystal under external electric loading was excited by pulsed nanosecond ultraviolet laser radiation. Acoustic waves were excited via the inverse piezoelectric effect due to the screening of the external electric field by expanding the space distribution of photogenerated electrons and holes. The duration of the interferometrically detected longitudinal acoustic pulses indicated that both the expansion of the screened region in space and the electron-hole plasma expansion are supersonic at the time scale of laser action. The value of 2 X 10(3) cm(2)/s obtained for the electron-hole plasma diffusivity leads to the conclusion that the mechanism of this fast carrier transport is photon recycling, i.e. reabsorption of recombination radiation. This conclusion is also supported by the acoustic signals duration independence on magnitude and polarity of the external electric field. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.