Simulation of THz Oscillations in Semiconductor Devices Based on Balance Equations

Tobias Linn, Kai Bittner, Hans Georg Brachtendorf, Christoph Jungemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Instabilities of electron plasma waves in high-mobility semiconductor devices have recently attracted a lot of attention as a possible candidate for closing the THz gap. Conventional moments-based transport models usually neglect time derivatives in the constitutive equations for vectorial quantities, resulting in parabolic systems of partial differential equations (PDE). To describe plasma waves however, such time derivatives need to be included, resulting in hyperbolic rather than parabolic systems of PDEs; thus the fundamental nature of these equation systems is changed completely. Additional nonlinear terms render the existing numerical stabilization methods for semiconductor simulation practically useless. On the other hand there are plenty of numerical methods for hyperbolic systems of PDEs in the form of conservation laws. Standard numerical schemes for conservation laws, however, are often either incapable of correctly handling the large source terms present in semiconductor devices due to built-in electric fields, or rely heavily on variable transformations which are specific to the equation system at hand (e.g. the shallow water equations), and can not be generalized easily to different equations. In this paper we develop a novel well-balanced numerical scheme for hyperbolic systems of PDEs with source terms and apply it to a simple yet non-linear electron transport model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)6
JournalJournal of Scientific Computing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Hyperbolic Balance Laws
  • Isothermal hydrodynamic model
  • THz Oscillations in Semiconductors
  • Well-balanced numerical Scheme


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