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Interface roughness effects on transport in tunnel structures

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2 Author(s)
Ting, D.Z.-Y. ; Thomas J. Watson, Sr., Laboratory of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, Republic of China ; McGill, T.C.

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Direct simulations of interface roughness effects on transport properties of tunnel structures are performed using the planar supercell stack method. The method allows for the inclusion of realistic three‐dimensional rough interfacial geometries in transport calculations. For double barrier resonant tunneling structures, we used our method to analyze the effect of roughness at each of the four interfaces, and to test for sensitivity of transport properties to island size and height. Our simulations yields the following conclusions: (1) We find that scattering of off‐resonance states into on‐resonance states provides the dominant contribution to interface roughness assisted tunneling. Analyses of scattering strength sensitivity to interface layer configurations reveals preferential scattering into Δk≊2π/λ states, where λ is the island size. (2) We find that roughness at interfaces adjacent to the quantum well can cause lateral localization of wave functions, which increases with island size and depth. Lateral localization can result in the broadening and shifting of transmission resonances, and the introduction of preferential transmission paths. In structures with wide and tall islands, it is possible to find localization over ‘‘islands’’ as well as localization over ‘‘oceans.’’ (3) The leading rough interface is the strongest off‐resonance scatterer, while rough interfaces adjacent to quantum well are the strongest on‐resonance scatterers. The trailing interface is the weakest scatterer. © 1996 American Vacuum Society

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 4 )