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Lifetime of Wannier-Stark states in semiconductor superlattices under strong Zener tunneling to above-barrier bands

Lebensdauer von Wannier-Stark Zuständen in Halbleiter-Übergittern unter starkem Zener-Tunneln in Bänder oberhalb der Barrieren
: Rosam, B.; Leo, K.; Glück, M.; Keck, F.; Korsch, H.J.; Zimmer, F.; Köhler, K.


Physical Review. B 68 (2003), No.12, Art. 125301, 7 pp.
ISSN: 0163-1829
ISSN: 1098-0121
ISSN: 0556-2805
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAF ()
III-V semiconductor; III-V Halbleiter; superlattice; Übergitter; time resolved optical property; zeitaufgelöste optische Eigenschaften

For high electric fields, the lifetime of Wannier-Stark ladder states in a periodic potential is reduced by the fundamental process of Zener tunneling. We report on the analysis of the coherence lifetime of such states in semiconductor superlattices by interband spectroscopy. The reduction of lifetime by strong coupling between bands can only in the first approximation be described by the well-known Zener theory. A recently developed theoretical model is applied to calculate directly the tunneling probability of Wannier-Stark states as a function of the electric field. The theoretical results compare well with experiment, reproducing the complex interplay of both nonresonant and resonant Zener tunneling to higher bands. By comparing experiment and theory for a superlattice with a symmetric and one with a nonsymmetric potential, we can draw conclusions on a very general basis about the sensitive dependence of Zener tunneling on the specific dispersion relation of the carriers.