Electron–hole superfluidity in strained Si/Ge type II heterojunctions

Sara Conti, Samira Saberi-Pouya, Andrea Perali, Michele Virgilio, François M. Peeters, Alexander R. Hamilton, Giordano Scappucci, David Neilson

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Abstract

Excitons are promising candidates for generating superfluidity and Bose–Einstein condensation (BEC) in solid-state devices, but an enabling material platform with in-built band structure advantages and scaling compatibility with industrial semiconductor technology is lacking. Here we predict that spatially indirect excitons in a lattice-matched strained Si/Ge bilayer embedded into a germanium-rich SiGe crystal would lead to observable mass-imbalanced electron–hole superfluidity and BEC. Holes would be confined in a compressively strained Ge quantum well and electrons in a lattice-matched tensile strained Si quantum well. We envision a device architecture that does not require an insulating barrier at the Si/Ge interface, since this interface offers a type II band alignment. Thus the electrons and holes can be kept very close but strictly separate, strengthening the electron–hole pairing attraction while preventing fast electron–hole recombination. The band alignment also allows a one-step procedure for making independent contacts to the electron and hole layers, overcoming a significant obstacle to device fabrication. We predict superfluidity at experimentally accessible temperatures of a few Kelvin and carrier densities up to ~6 × 1010 cm−2, while the large imbalance of the electron and hole effective masses can lead to exotic superfluid phases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Journalnpj Quantum Materials
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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