AFM Study of Self-assembled Quantum Dots

Due to their properties that differ from those of larger particles due to quantum mechanics, quantum dots are one of the central topics of nanotechnology research and represent one of the biggest success stories of nanotechnology so far, as they have been used in a wide range of optoelectronic devices. For the quantum dot characterization, we use Tosca 400 atomic force microscope.

Patterns are common in nature, as they often constitute a low energy state. Ordered alignment of atoms for instance yields such beautiful things as semiconductor crystals on which many wonders of our modern society are based on. This however only happens after excessive nano-engineering them to nanostructures.

In certain situations, excellent nanostructures also appear by self-assembly. Self-assembled indium-arsenid (InAs) quantum dots (QD) in gallium-arsenid (GaAs) are an example of such structures. They provide a confinement for electrons and holes. Full quantization makes them also termed artificial atoms. Embedded in appropriate heterostructures, they become excellent single photon emitters.

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