Scanning Microscopy


Semiconductors nanostructures are fabricated using a range of techniques which inevitably have an impact in the resulting optical properties. Multilayers are grown by epitaxial techniques with a varying degree of uniformity in thickness, composition, etc., all leading to localisation effects in two-dimension. These multilayers are patterned to fabricate wires and dots using, in this case, electron beam lithography and dry etching. The fabrication steps contribute to modifications of the optical properties, beyond the expected purely confinement-related effects.

An overview of linear and modulation spectroscopy is presented to demonstrate the impact of fabrication steps as well as of lateral confinement upon the emission from wires and dots. We focus on photoreflectance of GaAs-GaA1As dots and Si-SiGe wires as a probe of strain relaxation. Near-field scanning optical microscopy of single dots of GaAs-GaA1As at helium temperatures illustrates the potentials of using scanning probe techniques to study the underlying quantum mechanics of nanostructures. Finally, we suggest that a combination of lateral exciton confinement and exciton localization is a possible way forward to realise high emission efficiency nanostructures.

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