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NOVEL MEASUREMENT OF THE BAND DISCONTINUITIES IN (Al,Ga)As HETEROJUNCTIONS

  • B. A. WILSON (a1), P. DAWSON (a2), C. W. TU (a1) and R. C. MILLER (a1)

Abstract

A novel method has been used to obtain a direct and accurate measure of the valence-band discontinuity AlyGa1−yAs/AlAs heterojunctions in quantum-well structures. The technique takes advantage of the crossover occurring at a critical Al concentration above which the indirect X minimum in the AlAs becomes the lowest-energy conduction band in the system. Within these “staggered” band alignment structures, photoexcited electrons and holes are spatially separated, and recombination occurs across the interface. The resulting emission fixes the valence-band offset to within 1% without accurate knowledge of other system parameters, such as effective masses and exciton or dopant binding energies. These measurements represent the first direct optical confirmation of staggered band alignments in this technologically important material system.

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