Noise-induced current switching in semiconductor superlattices: observation of nonexponential kinetics in a high-dimensional system.
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 V1 near the end of a current branch. For a range of V1 values, the measured switching times vary stochastically. At short times (≲10 μs), 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.
Bomze, Y; Hey, R; Grahn, HT; Teitsworth, SW
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