Abstract

It is demonstrated theoretically that the optical rectification and difference-frequency generation of nonlinear coefficients that are known to exist in asymmetric quantum wells for certain directions of growth do not vanish even in symmetric quantum wells. The dispersion and anisotropy of the optical rectification coefficient are evaluated, and their magnitude is found to be 1 order larger than for the bulk zinc blende materials. This dramatic change is shown to be caused by the lifting of the valence band degeneracy. Practical applications for generating terahertz radiation are considered.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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