Theory of spatially inhomogeneous Bloch oscillations in semiconductor superlattices Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2011

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 17


  • 15 (155316)


  • 84

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1098-0121

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1550-235X


  • In a semiconductor superlattice with long scattering times, damping of Bloch oscillations due to scattering is so small that nonlinearities may compensate it and Bloch oscillations persist even in the hydrodynamic regime. To demonstrate this, a Boltzmann-Poisson transport model of miniband superlattices with inelastic collisions is proposed and hydrodynamic equations for electron density, electric field, and the complex amplitude of the Bloch oscillations are derived by singular perturbation methods. For appropriate parameter ranges, numerical solutions of these equations show stable Bloch oscillations with spatially inhomogeneous field, charge, current density, and energy density profiles. These Bloch oscillations disappear as scattering times become sufficiently short. For sufficiently low lattice temperatures, Bloch and Gunn type oscillations mediated by electric field, current, and energy domains coexist for a range of voltages. For larger lattice temperatures (300 K), there are only Bloch oscillations with stationary amplitude and electric field profiles.