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Title:Nonlinear transport in semiconductor superlattices
Author(s):Cannon, Ethan Harrison
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Campbell, D.K.
Department / Program:Physics
Subject(s):semiconductor superlattices
Boltzmann type transport equation
Abstract:We develop a semiclassical balance equation model for transport through a single miniband of a semiconductor superlattice subject to a spatially uniform, time-dependent external electric field and/or a constant external magnetic field. The balance equations are derived from the semiclassical Boltzmann transport equation and include energy and momentum relaxation. They also incorporate the self-consistent electric field generated by electron motion. In a temporally periodic external electric field, the applied magnetic field and the self-consistent electric field lead to novel nonlinear transport phenomena such as dissipative chaos and, in the absence of an external bias, symmetry-breaking. This symmetry-breaking leads to a spontaneously generated bias that often approximately satisfies a phase-locking condition corresponding to resonant photon absorption in the Wannier-Stark ladder resulting from the spontaneous bias. The current-voltage characteristic without time-dependent driving exhibits multistability for sufficiently large magnetic or self-consistent electric fields, and spontaneous current generation at zero bias is predicted for certain nonequilibrium "hot" electrons. We examine several limiting cases of this model to guide our studies of the general set of balance equations. We also develop clear physical intuition for, and consider the possible experimental signatures of, the novel transport properties predicted by our theoretical studies.
Issue Date:1999
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:©1999 Ethan Harrison Cannon
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-18
Identifier in Online Catalog:4272871

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