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Proceedings Paper

Generation and propagation of THz monochromatic acoustic phonons in gallium arsenide
Author(s): Anthony J. Kent; Nicola M. Stanton; Rajeev N. Kini; Mohamed Henini
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Paper Abstract

We have generated pulsed beams of longitudinal and transverse polarized acoustic phonons by ultra fast optical excitation of gallium arsenide/aluminium arsenide superlattice structures. The phonons propagated ballistically over macroscopic (~ mm) distances at low temperatures and were detected using superconducting bolometers. We used superlattice phonon filters and the frequency-dependent phonon scattering in gallium arsenide to analyse the phonon spectrum. The phonons were found to be monochromatic, with a centre frequency given by υ = cs/dSL, where cs is the phonon speed and dSL is the superlattice period, and having a spectral line width (full width at half maximum) of less than 50 GHz. We measured a mean free path of 0.8 mm for both the longitudinal and transverse modes, consistent with point defect scattering in the GaAs substrate. Such phonons, with frequencies in the THz range, have potential applications in a number of areas, e.g. acoustic microscopy of solid-state nanostructures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 June 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5352, Ultrafast Phenomena in Semiconductors and Nanostructure Materials VIII, (16 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.526765
Show Author Affiliations
Anthony J. Kent, Univ. of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
Nicola M. Stanton, Univ. of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
Rajeev N. Kini, Univ. of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
Mohamed Henini, Univ. of Nottingham (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5352:
Ultrafast Phenomena in Semiconductors and Nanostructure Materials VIII
Kong-Thon Tsen; Jin-Joo Song; Hongxing Jiang, Editor(s)

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