III-nitride semiconductors for intersubband optoelectronics: A review

  • Beeler M
  • Trichas E
  • Monroy E
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III-nitride nanostructures have recently emerged as promising materials for new intersubband (ISB) devices in a wide variety of applications. These ISB technologies rely on infrared optical transitions between quantum-confined electronic states in the conduction band of GaN/Al(Ga)N nanostructures, namely quantum wells or quantum dots. The large conduction band offset (about 1.8 eV for GaN/AlN) and sub-picosecond ISB relaxation of III-nitrides render them appealing materials for ultrafast photonic devices in near-infrared telecommunication networks. Furthermore, the large energy of GaN longitudinal-optical phonons (92 meV) opens prospects for high-temperature THz quantum cascade lasers and ISB devices covering the 5–10 THz band, inaccessible to As-based technologies due to phonon absorption. In this paper, we describe the basic features of ISB transitions in III-nitride quantum wells and quantum dots, in terms of theoretical calculations, material growth, spectroscopy, resonant transport phenomena, and device implementation. The latest results in the fabrication of control-by-design devices such as all-optical switches, electro-optical modulators, photodetectors, and lasers are also presented.

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  • M. Beeler

  • E. Trichas

  • E. Monroy

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