Journal article Open Access
Ciano, Chiara; Virgilio, Michele; Montanari, Michele; Persichetti, Luca; Di Gaspare, Luciana; Ortolani, Michele; Baldassarre, Leonetta; Zoellner, Marvin H.; Skibitzki, Oliver; Scalari, Giacomo; Faist, Jerome; Paul, Douglas J.; Scuderi, Mario; Nicotra, Giuseppe; Grange, Thomas; Birner, Stefan; Capellini, Giovanni; De Seta, Monica
Theoretical predictions indicate that the n-type Ge/SiGe multi quantum-well system is the most promising material for the realization of a Si-compatible THz quantum cascade laser operating at room temperature. To advance in this direction, we study both experimentally and theoretically asymmetric coupled multi quantum-well samples based on this material system, that can be considered as the basic building block of a cascade architecture. Extensive structural characterization shows the high material quality of strain-symmetrized structures grown by chemical vapor deposition, down to the ultrathin barrier limit. Moreover, THz absorption spectroscopy measurements supported by theoretical modeling unambiguously demonstrate inter-well coupling and wavefunction tunneling. The agreement between experimental data and simulations allowed us to characterize the tunneling barrier parameters and, in turn, achieve a highly-controlled engineering of the electronic structure in forthcoming unipolar cascade systems based on n-type Ge/SiGe multi quantum-wells.