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Indirect absorption in germanium quantum wells
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Germanium has become a promising material for creating CMOS-compatible optoelectronic devices, such as modulators and detectors employing the Franz-Keldysh effect (FKE) or the quantum-confined Stark effect(QCSE), which meet strict energy and density requirements for future interconnects. To improve Ge-based modulator design, it is important to understand the contributions to the insertion loss (IL). With indirect absorption being the primary component of IL, we have experimentally determined the strength of this loss and compared it with theoretical models. For the first time, we have used the more sensitive photocurrent measurements for determining the effective absorption coefficient in our Ge/SiGe quantum well material employing QCSE. This measurement technique enables measurement of the absorption coefficient over four orders of magnitude. We find good agreement between our thin Gequantum wells and the bulk material parameters and theoretical models. Similar to bulk Ge, we find that the 27.7 meV LA phonon is dominant in these quantum confined structures and that the electroabsorption profile can be predicted using the model presented by Frova, Phys. Rev., 145 (1966).
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