Resonant tunnelling between X-levels in a GaAs/AlAs/GaAs/AlAs/GaAs device above 13 kbar

DG Austing, PC Klipstein, JS Roberts, G. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We report the appearance of a new resonance in the current-voltage (I-V) characteristic close to the origin which for our particular device parameters, occurs at pressures above 14 kbar. The resonance appears when the AlAs layers change role, from "barriers" at low pressure to "wells" at high pressure. We describe the expected band-bending at pressures above the 14 kbar threshold in terms of the pinning of the Fermi level at the energy of the first confined subband in the X-profile well. We explain the observed I-V characteristics, and their pressure dependence, by the sum of two contributions to the current due to tunnelling through the X- and the γ- profiles. The latter appears to be strongly suppressed with pressure, revealing a weak second I-V resonance at pressures close to 20 kbar. The voltages of the observed resonances compare reasonably with those expected from a simple effective mass model for the confinement energies of states in the X-profile wells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-702
Number of pages6
JournalSolid State Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acl~nowledgements - We thank Dr R H Friend and Mr J Simmons for assistance with the high pressure measurements. This work was funded by S.E.R.C. DGA acknowledges support from S.E.R.C. and G.E.C.


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