Dissipative Chaos in Semiconductor Superlattices
Alekseev, Kirill N.
Berman, Gennady P.
Campbell, David K.
Cannon, Ethan H.
Cargo, Matthew C.
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Citation1996. "Dissipative Chaos in Semiconductor Superlattices," cond-mat/9604173. http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/9604173
We consider the motion of ballistic electrons in a miniband of a semiconductor superlattice (SSL) under the influence of an external, time-periodic electric field. We use the semi-classical balance-equation approach which incorporates elastic and inelastic scattering (as dissipation) and the self-consistent field generated by the electron motion. The coupling of electrons in the miniband to the self-consistent field produces a cooperative nonlinear oscillatory mode which, when interacting with the oscillatory external field and the intrinsic Bloch-type oscillatory mode, can lead to complicated dynamics, including dissipative chaos. For a range of values of the dissipation parameters we determine the regions in the amplitude-frequency plane of the external field in which chaos can occur. Our results suggest that for terahertz external fields of the amplitudes achieved by present-day free electron lasers, chaos may be observable in SSLs. We clarify the nature of this novel nonlinear dynamics in the superlattice-external field system by exploring analogies to the Dicke model of an ensemble of two-level atoms coupled with a resonant cavity field and to Josephson junctions.