"Electrical Modulation and Switching of Acoustic Phonons", H. Jeong, Y.D. Jho*, S. H. Rhim, K.J. Yee, J.P. Shim, D.S. Lee, J.W. Joo, J. H. Baek, and C. J. Stanton, Phys. Rev. B 94, 024307 (2016).
We report on the electrical manipulation of coherent acoustic phonon waves in GaN-based nanoscale piezoelectric heterostructures which are strained both from the pseudomorphic growth at the interfaces as well as through external electric fields. In such structures, transverse symmetry within the c plane hinders both the generation and detection of the transverse acoustic (TA) modes, and usually only longitudinal acoustic phonons are generated by ultrafast displacive screening of potential gradients. We show that even for c-GaN, the combined application of lateral and vertical electric fields can not only switch on the normally forbidden TA mode, but they can also modulate the amplitudes and frequencies of both modes. By comparing the transient differential reflectivity spectra in structures with and without an asymmetric potential distribution, the role of the electrical controllability of phonons was demonstrated as changes to the propagation velocities, the optical birefringence, the electrically polarized TA waves, and the geometrically varying optical sensitivities of phonons.