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VLSI Design
Volume 13 (2001), Issue 1-4, Pages 447-451

Dynamics of Non-equilibrium Short-wave-length Phonons in Semiconductor Heterostructures

Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The behavior of short-wave-length acoustic phonons in the vicinity of a quantum well in a GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructure has been investigated. Hot two-dimensional electrons in the well produce longitudinal optical phonons, which decay into almost monoenergetic short-wave-length longitudinal acoustic (LA) phonons. The latter undergo elastic scattering and down-conversion into transverse acoustic (TA) phonons. The distribution of the LA and TA phonons over frequency and distance to the well have been found by solving semi-analytically a system of two kinetic equations with nontrivial boundary conditions and nonlinear dispersion. The distribution functions have essentially non-temperature form even at substantial distance from the well.