Interatomic Coulombic decay in two coupled quantum wells

Tamar Goldzak, Liron Gantz, Ido Gilary, Gad Bahir, Nimrod Moiseyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interatomic Coulombic decay (ICD) is a relaxation process induced by electronic correlation. In this work we study the ICD process in a two coupled quantum wells (QWs) nanostructure. We study a simple one-dimensional effective potential using experimental parameters of the semiconductor QW layers, i.e., using the single-band effective-mass approximation. In our calculations we consider the discontinuity of the effective mass of the electron in each of the QW layers. We control the ICD lifetime by changing the distance between the two wells. The expected overall trend is a decrease of ICD lifetime with a decrease in the distance between the wells. We show that the distance can be tuned such that the emitted ICD electron is trapped in a metastable state in the con-tinuum, i.e., a one-electron resonance state. This causes the lifetime of the ICD to be an order of magnitude smaller even at very long distances, and improves the efficiency of the ICD process. For the ICD to be the dominant decay mechanism it must prevail over all other possible competitive decay processes. We have found that the lifetime of the ICD is on the time scale of picoseconds. Therefore, based on our results we can design an experiment that will observe the ICD phenomenon in QWs nanostructure. This work can lead to a design of a wavelength-sensitive detector which is efficient even at low intensities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165312
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Interatomic Coulombic decay in two coupled quantum wells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this