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A k.p theory of many-layer semiconductor heterostructures

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Improvements in growth technologies for producing semiconductor heterostructures have allowed for the manufacture of complex semiconductor superlattices, quantum well and similar devices for high precision. These structures are of great interest for their optical and optoelectronic properties. A theoretical formalism, based on that of Smith and Mailhiot [D. L. Smith and C. Mailhiot, Phys. Rev. B 33,8345-8372, (1986)], has been implemented that allows for the characterization of semiconductor heterostructures consisting of many different III-V and II-VI materials layers with a wide range of layer widths. The method implements a zone center pseudopotential calculation to produce basis states for a k.p theory. In particular, the formalism has been applied to coupled quantum wells, asymmetric quantum wells, and quantum wells with various interface profiles. Results to be presented include energy subbands, subband wavefunctions, momentum matrix elements, and optical transition probabilities for the above structures produced in GaAs-AlGaAs heterostructures. The formalism is also applicable in cases with applied electric fields, lattice mismatched induced strain, and the resultant internal piezoelectrically induced electric fields for some growth directions.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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