Time-resolved photocurrent spectroscopy of the evolution of the electric field in optically excited superlattices and the prospects for Bloch gain

Lisauskas, Alvydas; Blöser, Claudia; Sachs, Robert; Roskos, Hartmut G.; Juozapavičius, Aušrius; Valušis, Gintaras; Köhler, Klaus
March 2005
Applied Physics Letters;3/7/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 10, p102103
Academic Journal
We report on photocurrent spectroscopy on undoped GaAs/AlGaAs semiconductor superlattices subjected to femtosecond optical excitation. The evolution of the carrier-drift-induced inhomogeneity of the electric field is studied by tracing the shifting and broadening of Wannier–Stark transitions as a function of delay time and bias field. Based on experimental data and results of numerical simulations, we find that the superlattice rapidly splits into two moving field regions, one with strong field gradient and low electron density, the other with partially screened field at low gradient and high electron density. Concerning future Bloch-gain measurements, we find that gain is expected in spite of the inhomogeneous field if the electron-rich region is not heavily screened. The time window during which Bloch gain exists is determined by the sweep out of the electrons (10–30 ps).


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