Self-consistent study of the resonant-tunneling diode

N. C. Kluksdahl, A. M. Kriman, D. K. Ferry, Christian Ringhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

356 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Quantum transport in the resonant-tunneling diode (RTD) is modeled here with the Wigner formalism including self-consistent potentials for the first time. We examine the computational aspects of the Wigner-function approach and the boundary conditions for the model. The calculated I-V characteristics show an intrinsic bistability in the negative-differential-conductivity region of the curve. Intrinsic bistability results from charge storage and the subsequent shifting of the internal potential of the device. The cathode region of the RTD shows a strong depletion and quantization of electrons in a deep triangular potential well, which reduces the barrier height to a ballistic electron injected from the cathode, enhancing the valley current and reducing the peak-to-valley ratio. Undoped spacer layers prevent the formation of a deep quantum well at the cathode barrier, and the distribution does not deplete as sharply as without the spacer layer. The I-V curve with the spacer layers shows a much lower negative resistance, and a sharper bistable region. A finite relaxation time for the electrons increases the negative resistance, reduces the peak-to-valley ratio of the current, and causes a soft hysteresis in the bistable region. A zero-bias anomaly is found to result from high-momentum tails in the distribution at the barrier interface. These high-momentum tails contribute a small high-conductance current. The transient current during switching from the peak to the valley of the I-V curve shows inductive behavior and negative resistance for frequencies below 2 THz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7720-7735
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume39
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

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Resonant tunneling diodes
Negative resistance
resonant tunneling diodes
valleys
Cathodes
spacers
Electrons
cathodes
Momentum
curves
Ballistics
momentum
Relaxation time
Semiconductor quantum wells
electrons
Hysteresis
Boundary conditions
ballistics
depletion
relaxation time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Self-consistent study of the resonant-tunneling diode. / Kluksdahl, N. C.; Kriman, A. M.; Ferry, D. K.; Ringhofer, Christian.

In: Physical Review B, Vol. 39, No. 11, 1989, p. 7720-7735.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kluksdahl, N. C. ; Kriman, A. M. ; Ferry, D. K. ; Ringhofer, Christian. / Self-consistent study of the resonant-tunneling diode. In: Physical Review B. 1989 ; Vol. 39, No. 11. pp. 7720-7735.
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