The coherent emission from excitons corresponding to different subband transitions in a 500 Å broad GaAs/AlGaAs quantum well is studied by spectrally resolved transient four-wave mixing (FWM). For the simultaneous excitation of several subband transitions, the dephasing times of the lowest exciton and higher-order exciton transitions are determined from the width of the resonances in the FWM spectrum. The decay of the spectrally integrated FWM signal as a function of the time delay between the excitation laser pulses does not reflect the dephasing times but is determined by the laser pulse width for multi-subband excitation. This is indicative of quantum interference between exciton and continuum transitions. Many-body Coulomb effects have to be included in a theoretical treatment of these experimental observations.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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