Phonon engineering with superlattices: Generalized nanomechanical potentials

O. Ortíz, M. Esmann, N. D. Lanzillotti-Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Phonons are a promising simulation platform for single particles trapped in quantum wells, interatomic molecular dynamics, and, in general, potentials. Earlier implementations to simulate coherent wave propagation in one-dimensional potentials using acoustic phonons with gigahertz-terahertz frequencies were based on coupled nanoacoustic resonators. Here we generalize the concept of adiabatic tuning of periodic superlattices for the implementation of effective one-dimensional potentials giving access to cases that cannot be realized by previously reported phonon engineering approaches, in particular the acoustic simulation of electrons and holes in a quantum well or a double-well potential. In addition, the resulting structures are much more compact and hence experimentally feasible. We demonstrate that potential landscapes can be tailored with great versatility in these multilayered devices, apply this general method to the cases of parabolic, Morse, and double-well potentials, and study the resulting stationary phonon modes. The phonon cavities and potentials presented in this work could be probed by all-optical techniques like pump-probe coherent phonon generation and Brillouin scattering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085430
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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