Spatially Resolved Ballistic Optoelectronic Transport Measured by Quantized Photocurrent Spectroscopy

GaAs-based quantum point contacts (QPCs) are exploited to spatially resolve and analyze the ballistic, nonequilibrium flow of photogenerated electrons in a nanoscale circuit. Electron-hole pairs are photogenerated in a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG), and the resulting current through an adjacent QPC is measured as a function of the laser spot position. The transmission of photogenerated electrons through the QPC is governed by the energy dispersion and the quantized momentum values of the electron modes in the QPC.