Concepts and Applications of Band Structure Engineering in Optoelectronics

  • M. Jaros
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 281)


The concept of electronic structure engineering is as old as semiconductor physics. Soon after the discovery of binary compound semiconductors such as GaP and GaAs it was realised that suitable solid mixtures of these materials could be used to alter the magnitude of the forbidden gap. The emergence of the optic cable provided a particularly strong impetus for such experimentation and as a result a new technology came into being of quaternary alloys involving elements of Ga, In, P, As etc. grown on high quality InP substrates (see, for example, Pearsall, 1982). Concurrently with the development of new alloys it has become possible to grow high quality epitaxial layers of technologically important semiconductors of almost arbitrary (and well controlled) thickness. In an alloy the band gap is changed by alterations of the alloy composition. There is a simple linear relationship between the alloy composition and band gap. A similar linear relation exists between the gap and the lattice constant. Semiconductor heterostructures offer a different way of achieving changes in band gap. When a thin layer of, say, GaAs is sandwiched between layers of Ga1−xAlxAs, the larger gap material (the alloy) acts as a simple potential barrier for electrons at the bottom of the conduction band of GaAs (e.g. Capasso and Margaritondo, 1988). The electron levels in GaAs are shifted as a result of the confining potential and their position with respect to the bulk band edges of GaAs can be estimated from the particle in a box model (Jaros, 1989).


Wave Function Conduction Band Minimum Atomic Potential Bulk Wave Band Offset 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bassani, F. and Pastori-Parravicini, G. (1975) Electronic States and Optical Transitions in Solids (Pergamon, New York).Google Scholar
  2. Bergh, A.A. and Dean, P.J. Light Emitting Diodes (1976) (Oxford University Press, Oxford).Google Scholar
  3. Capasso, F. and Margaritondo, G. (Eds) (1987) Heterojunction Band Discontinuities: Physics and Device Applications (North Holland, Amsterdam).Google Scholar
  4. Dingle, R. (Ed.) (1988) Applications of Multiquantum Wells, Selective Doping and Superlattices, Semiconductors and Semimetals Vol. 24 (Academic, New York).Google Scholar
  5. Haug, H. Optical Non-linearities and Instabilities in Semiconductors (1988) (Academic, London).Google Scholar
  6. Jaros, M. Deep Levels in Semiconductors (1982) (Hilger, Bristol).Google Scholar
  7. Jaros, M. Physics and Applications of Semiconductor Microstructures (1989) (Oxford University Press, Oxford).Google Scholar
  8. Pearsall, T.P. (Ed.) GalnAsP Alloy Semiconductors (1982) (Wiley, New York).Google Scholar
  9. Pearsall, T.P. (Ed.) Strained Layer Super lattices, 1990, Semiconductors and Semimetals (Academic, New York).Google Scholar
  10. Shen, Y.R. The Principles of Non-Linear Optics (1984) (Wiley, New York).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Jaros
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentThe UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations