Tunneling through superlattices: the effect of anisotropy and kinematic coupling

S V Halilov, X Y Huang, M Hytha, R Stephenson, A Yiptong, H Takeuchi, N Cody, R J Mears
2012 Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter  
The tunneling of carriers in stratified superlattice systems is analyzed in terms of the constituent effective mass tensor. The focus is on the effects on the tunneling which are caused by the side regions of an intervening barrier. Depending on the covalency and work function in the constituent layers of a superlattice, it is concluded that the kinematics in the regions on either side determined by the effective carrier mass and its interference with the band offset at heterojunctions leads to
more » ... either a constructive or a destructive effect on the tunneling current. As an example, Si 1−x Ge x /Si and Al x Ga 1−x As/GaAs superlattices are demonstrated to reduce the tunneling current at certain fractional thicknesses and stoichiometries of the constituent slabs without affecting the lateral mobility. The findings show, in general, how manipulation of the carrier's effective mass tensor through stoichiometric/structural modulation of the heterostructure may be used to control the tunneling current through a given potential barrier, given that the characteristic de Broglie wavelength exceeds all the constituent dimensions, thus offering a method complementary to high-k technologies.
doi:10.1088/0953-8984/24/49/495801 pmid:23148049 fatcat:ull4eemuivbfnej6rp4ecrszpu