A study of photomodulated reflectance on staircase-like, n-doped GaAs/Al x Ga1−x As quantum well structures
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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:622 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-622Published: 12 November 2012
In this study, photomodulated reflectance (PR) technique was employed on two different quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) structures, which consist of n-doped GaAs quantum wells (QWs) between undoped AlxGa1−xAs barriers with three different x compositions. Therefore, the barrier profile is in the form of a staircase-like barrier. The main difference between the two structures is the doping profile and the doping concentration of the QWs. PR spectra were taken at room temperature using a He-Ne laser as a modulation source and a broadband tungsten halogen lamp as a probe light. The PR spectra were analyzed using Aspnes’ third derivative functional form.
Since the barriers are staircase-like, the structure has different ground state energies; therefore, several optical transitions take place in the spectrum which cannot be resolved in a conventional photoluminescence technique at room temperature. To analyze the experimental results, all energy levels in the conduction and in the valance band were calculated using transfer matrix technique, taking into account the effective mass and the parabolic band approximations. A comparison of the PR results with the calculated optical transition energies showed an excellent agreement. Several optical transition energies of the QWIP structures were resolved from PR measurements. It is concluded that PR spectroscopy is a very useful experimental tool to characterize complicated structures with a high accuracy at room temperature.