Noise-Induced Current Switching in Semiconductor Superlattices: Observation of Nonexponential Kinetics in a High-Dimensional System

Journal Article (Academic article)

We report on measurements of first-passage-time distributions associated with current switching in weakly coupled GaAs/AlAs superlattices driven by shot noise, a system that is both far from equilibrium and high dimensional. Static current-voltage (I-V) characteristics exhibit multiple current branches and bistability; precision, high-bandwidth current switching data are collected in response to steps in the applied voltage to final voltages near the end of a current branch. For a range of voltage values, the measured switching times vary stochastically. At short times, the switching time distributions decay exponentially, while at longer times the distributions develop nonexponential tails that follow an approximate power law over several decades. The power law decay behavior is attributed to the presence of multiple switching pathways, which may arise from small spatial variations in the superlattice growth parameters.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bomze, Y; Hey, R; Grahn, HT; Teitsworth, SW

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

  • Physical Review Letters

Volume / Issue

  • 109 / 026801

Start / End Page

  • 4 -

Published By