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Transient effects of pump-probe optical response in intersubband transitions of semiconductor quantum wells

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3 Author(s)
Kosionis, Spyridon G. ; Physics Department, School of Natural Sciences, University of Patras, Patras 265 04, Greece ; Terzis, Andreas F. ; Paspalakis, Emmanuel

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We study theoretically the time evolution of nonlinear optical phenomena of a probe electromagnetic field pulse in intersubband transitions of a semiconductor quantum well structure under the influence of a pump electromagnetic field. More specifically, we take into consideration the effects of electron-electron interactions and consider the interaction of a two-subband system with rectangular electromagnetic fields. The spectral form of the linear absorption, dispersion, and nonlinear optical Kerr effect is described, from the time that the external field is applied up until the dynamics of the system has reached a steady state. In order to describe the dynamics of the system, the effective nonlinear Bloch equations are used, in which renormalized terms for the transition energy and the applied field have been added, due to the effects of electron-electron interactions. These equations are properly combined, and the differential equations of the density matrix elements for the several optical phenomena up to third order are derived. These are solved numerically in the whole time range up to the steady state for a GaAs/AlGaAs quantum well structure. We show that the form of the several optical spectra studied here has a significantly altered evolution over time, according to the value of the frequency of the pump field and of electron sheet density. Even in the case in which the spectral form in the steady state case is almost identical for two different sets of parameters, their evolution can be quite different, according to the precise value of these parameters.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:112 ,  Issue: 7 )