Photocurrent spectra due to interlevel transitions of holes in Ge/Si quantum dots show several peaks in the range of 60–300 meV, which superlinearly increase with bias, indicating release of carriers by tunneling. The relative peak intensity drastically changes with applied voltage, its polarity, and the measurement system. Lower energy peaks, at 69 and 86 meV, are observed only with a Fourier transform IR (FTIR) spectrometer. The 69 and 86 meV transitions excite holes into intermediate levels from which they are re-excited to shallow levels in a two-photon process. This is observed with FTIR only where the sample is simultaneously exposed to a wide range of energies. Direct band-to-band excitation at 1.25 eV increases the midinfrared signals by orders of magnitude by pumping the intermediate levels. Placing dopants in the barrier greatly increases photocurrent intensity and reduces noise. One-dimensional and three-dimensional numerical analyses confirm our findings.

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