From a coupling model between the Boltzmann transport equation and the quantum Liouville equation, we have developed a simulator based on the Wigner distribution function (WDF) approach that can be applied to resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs) and other vertical transport quantum devices. In comparison to previous WDF simulators, the tool allows one to extend the simulation domains up to hundreds of nanometers, which are the typical dimensions required for the study of actual multilayer structures. With these improvements, a level of agreement between theory and experiment comparable to that obtained by using other simulators based on Green functions has been achieved. The results of this work reveal that the WDF formalism can be alternatively used to study the behavior of actual multilayered RTDs. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.