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Intersubband relaxation of two-dimensional electrons in heterostructures

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date15/05/1993
JournalPhysical Review B
Number of pages5
Original languageEnglish


We calculate the lifetime of a nonequilibrium electron in the first excited subband in the low-density heterostructure where this photocreated carrier occurs at the last stage of its cooling. The electron interaction with acoustic phonons gives the dominant intersubband relaxation mechanism, if the intersubband energy splitting and the Fermi energy splitting are relatively small, 1 > epsilon(f)/DELTA10 > 0.7-0.8. In GaAs-AlxGa1-xAs heterostructures the intersubband relaxation determines the excited-electron lifetime to be of the order of tau(phon) approximately nanoseconds which depends slightly on the value of the two-dimensional electron density. When the ratio epsilon(F)/DELTA10 is smaller, the intersubband relaxation is determined by the Auger-like electron-electron scattering whose rate can increase up to the value tau(Aug)-1 approximately 10(10) sec-1.

Bibliographic note

© 1993 The American Physical Society