Observation of millimeter-wave oscillations from resonant tunneling diodes and some theoretical considerations of ultimate frequency limits

Sollner, T. C. L. G.; Brown, E. R.; Goodhue, W. D.; Le, H. Q.
February 1987
Applied Physics Letters;2/9/1987, Vol. 50 Issue 6, p332
Academic Journal
Recent observations of oscillation frequencies up to 56 GHz in resonant tunneling structures are discussed in relation to calculations by several authors of the ultimate frequency limits of these devices. We find that calculations relying on the Wentzel–Kramers–Brillouin (WKB) approximation give limits well below the observed oscillation frequencies. Two other techniques for calculating the upper frequency limit were found to give more reasonable results. In one method we use the solution of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation obtained by Kundrotas and Dargys [Phys. Status Solidi B 134, 267 (1986)], while in the other we use the energy width of the transmission function for electrons through the double-barrier structure. This last technique is believed to be the most accurate since it is based on general results for the lifetime of any resonant state. It gives frequency limits on the order of 1 THz for two recently fabricated structures. It appears that the primary limitation of the oscillation frequency for double-barrier resonant tunneling diodes will be imposed by intrinsic device circuit parameters and by the transit time of the depletion layer rather than by time delays encountered in the double-barrier region.


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