Formation of electric-field domains in GaAs Alx Ga1-x As quantum cascade laser structures
The current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of GaAs Alx Ga1-x As quantum cascade laser structures (QCLSs) are found to exhibit current plateaus with discontinuities for voltages below threshold. The number of current discontinuities is correlated with the number of periods of the QCLS, suggesting the formation of electric-field domains that span the entire structure. A self-consistent calculation of the conduction band profile and corresponding electronic wave functions shows that the low-field domain is related to resonant tunneling between the ground state g in the active region and the lowest energy state in the adjacent, downstream injector i1. For x=0.33 (x=0.45), the high-field domain is formed for resonant tunneling between g and the first (second) excited state i2 (i3) in the injector region. A comparison of the experimental data with the calculated conduction band profile shows that a significant field inhomogeneity within each period shifts the voltage range, for which the resonance condition is fulfilled, to much lower voltages than expected for a homogeneous field distribution. © 2006 The American Physical Society.
Lu, SL; Schrottke, L; Teitsworth, SW; Hey, R; Grahn, HT
Volume / Issue
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)