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ZhETF, Vol. 141, No. 5, p. 840 (May 2012)
(English translation - JETP, Vol. 114, No. 5, p. 731, May 2012 available online at )

Zakharova A.A., Semenikhin I., Chao K.A.

Received: July 13, 2011

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We investigate in detail the optical anisotropy of absorption of linearly polarized light in InAs/GaSb quantum wells grown on GaSb along the [001] direction, which can be used as an active region of different laser structures. The energy level positions, the wave functions, the optical matrix elements, and the absorption coefficients are calculated using the eight-band k• model and the Burt-Foreman envelope function theory. In these calculations, the Schrödinger and Poisson equations are solved self-consistently taking the lattice-mismatched strain into account. We find that a realistic Hamiltonian, which has the C2v symmetry, results in considerable anisotropy of optical matrix elements for different directions of light polarization and different directions of the initial-state in-plane wave vector, including low-symmetry directions. We trace how the optical matrix elements and absorption are modified when spin-orbit interaction and important symmetry breaking mechanisms are taken into account (structural inversion asymmetry, bulk inversion asymmetry, and interface Hamiltonian). These mechanisms result in an almost 100 % anisotropy of the absorption coefficients as the light polarization vector rotates in the plane of the structure and in a plane normal to the interfaces.

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