The electro-optical properties of (Zn,Cd)Se/Zn(S,Se) quantum well structures grown on GaAs substrates have been studied with differential electroabsorption spectroscopy at room temperature and compared to model calculations. (Zn,Cd)Se wells of 20, 10, and 4×5 nm are investigated, corresponding to well widths of four, two, and one times the exciton Bohr radius in this material system, respectively. We observe the quantum confined Stark effect for the 4×5 nm sample and find a Stark shift of 18 meV in the heavy-hole exciton peak for an electric field change from 82 to 175 kV/cm. In contrast, the 10 nm sample shows a rather weak and more Franz–Keldysh-like signal. We show that the 20-nm-thick quantum-well sample behaves like bulk material, i.e., the electro-absorption signal is well described by Franz–Keldysh oscillations.

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