Optical interband excitonic absorption of semiconductor quantum wells (QW’s) driven by a coherent pump field is investigated on the basis of semiconductor Bloch equations. The pump field has a photon energy close to the intersubband spacing between the first two conduction subbands in the QW’s. An external weak optical field probes the interband transition. The excitonic effects and pump-induced population redistribution within the conduction subbands in the QW system are included. When the density of the electron–hole pairs in the QW structure is low, the pump field induces an Autler–Townes splitting of the exciton absorption spectrum. The split size and the peak positions of the absorption doublet depend not only on the pump frequency and intensity but also on the carrier density. As the density of the electron–hole pairs is increased, the split contrast (the ratio between the maximum and the minimum values) is decreased, because the exciton effect is suppressed at higher densities owing to the many-body screening.
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