High-frequency breakdown of the integer quantum Hall effect in GaAs/AlGaAs heterojunctions
The integer quantum Hall effect is a well-studied phenomenon at frequencies below about 100 Hz. The plateaus in high-frequency Hall conductivity were experimentally proven to retain up to 33 GHz, but the behavior at higher frequencies has remained largely unexplored. Using continuous-wave terahertz spectroscopy, the complex Hall conductivity of GaAs/AlGaAs heterojunctions was studied in the range of 69-1100 GHz. Above 100 GHz, the quantum plateaus are strongly smeared out and replaced by weak quantum oscillations in the real part of the conductivity. The amplitude of the oscillations decreases with increasing frequency. Near 1 THz, the Hall conductivity does not reveal any features related to the filling of Landau levels. Similar oscillations are observed in the imaginary part as well; this effect has no analogy at zero frequency. This experimental picture is in disagreement with existing theoretical considerations of the high-frequency quantum Hall effect.