Real-space transfer and current filamentation in AlGaAs/GaAs heterojunctions subjected to high-electric fields

Joachim H. Wolter, Jos E. Haverkort, Peter Hendriks, E.A.E. Zwaal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


At high electric fields negative differential resistance and oscillatory behavior of the current is observed in 2-dimensional electron gases in modulation doped heterostructures. We develop a model in which the understanding of these phenomena is provided by the ohmic contacts to the 2-dimensional electron gas. The key phenomenon is that at a high electric field, well below the threshold field for real space transfer across the interface between the GaAs and the Al xGa1-xAs, injection of electrons from the contacts into the AlxGa 1-xAs layer opens a conductive channel in the AlxGa1-xAs parallel to the 2-dimensional electron gas in the GaAs layer. We show that avalanche ionization in the AlxGa1-xAs layer leads to current filamentation. We studied this behavior for various experimental conditions by means of a novel technique which we developed for this purpose: the technique of time resolved optical beam induced current.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUltrafast Phenomena in Semiconductors
EditorsDavid K. Ferry, Henry M. van Driel
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)0819414379, 9780819414373
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1994
EventUltrafast Phenomena in Semiconductors - Los Angeles, CA, USA
Duration: 27 Jan 199428 Jan 1994

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceUltrafast Phenomena in Semiconductors
CityLos Angeles, CA, USA


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