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Investigation of the band structure of quantum wells based on gapless and narrow-band semiconductors HgTe and InAs

Abstract : Mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe or MCT) is a time-honored material for condensed matter physics, whose history  nowadays more than fifty years long  may serve as an excellent example of remarkable progress made in research on semiconductors and semimetals. The ternary compound HgCdTe implies two important aspects, which largely contributed to its undoubted success in solid-states physics.The present PhD thesis primarily aims at filling some of existing gaps in our understanding of the electronic band structure in 2D and quasi-2D heterostructures based on HgTe/HgCdTe and InAs/InSb materials, which both may be tuned into topologically insulating phase using particular structural parameter. To explore their properties, the primal experimental technique, infrared and THz magneto-spectroscopy operating in a broad of magnetic fields, is combined with complementary magneto-transport measurements. This combination of experimental methods allows us to get valuable insights into electronic states not only at the Fermi energy, but also in relatively broad vicinity.The observed magneto-optical response - due to intraband (cyclotron resonance) and interband inter-Landau level excitations - may be interpreted in the context of previous studies performed on bulk samples , quantum wells and superlattices, but also compared with theoretical expectations. Here we aim at achieving the quantitative explanation of the collected experimental data, but also further developing a reliable theoretical model. The latter includes the fine-tuning of the band structure parameters present in the established Kane model, but even more importantly, identifying additional relevant (high-order) terms and finding their particular strengths, needed to achieve quantitative agreement with our experiments. One may expect that corrections due to these additional terms will more affect the valence subbands, which are in general characterized by relatively large effective masses. Consequently, valence subbands have larger density of states compared to conduction band or, when the magnetic field is applied, rather narrow spacing (and possibly large mixing) of Landau levels.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02057445, version 1

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Leonid Bovkun. Investigation of the band structure of quantum wells based on gapless and narrow-band semiconductors HgTe and InAs. Materials Science [cond-mat.mtrl-sci]. Université Grenoble Alpes; Académie des sciences de Russie, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY060⟩. ⟨tel-02057445⟩

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