We study theoretically the vertical electron transport in semiconductor multiple-quantum-well structures, where sequential tunneling between neighboring wells takes place. The nonuniformity of electric field along the growth axis and charge redistribution among the quantum wells, as well as between the inner wells and contacts, are taken into account. A simple and efficient model of charged contact layers is proposed. The calculated I-V curves exhibit regions of conventional N-shaped negative differential conductivity and Z-shaped portions of intrinsic bistability, both arising due to the tunneling resonances. A general explanation of their formation mechanism is given, which is valid for any form of interwell transitions of resonant nature. The conditions of N-and Z-shaped curve observation and controllable transition between them are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)