Open Access Nano Review

Multi-scale ordering of self-assembled InAs/GaAs(001) quantum dots

S Kiravittaya*, R Songmuang, A Rastelli, H Heidemeyer and OG Schmidt

Author Affiliations

Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Heisenbergstrasse 1, D-70569, Stuttgart, Germany

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2006, 1:1-10  doi:10.1007/s11671-006-9014-8

Published: 25 July 2006


Ordering phenomena related to the self-assembly of InAs quantum dots (QD) grown on GaAs(001) substrates are experimentally investigated on different length scales. On the shortest length-scale studied here, we examine the QD morphology and observe two types of QD shapes, i.e., pyramids and domes. Pyramids are elongated along the [1-10] directions and are bounded by {137} facets, while domes have a multi-facetted shape. By changing the growth rates, we are able to control the size and size homogeneity of freestanding QDs. QDs grown by using low growth rate are characterized by larger sizes and a narrower size distribution. The homogeneity of buried QDs is measured by photoluminescence spectroscopy and can be improved by low temperature overgrowth. The overgrowth induces the formation of nanostructures on the surface. The fabrication of self-assembled nanoholes, which are used as a template to induce short-range positioning of QDs, is also investigated. The growth of closely spaced QDs (QD molecules) containing 2–6 QDs per QD molecule is discussed. Finally, the long-range positioning of self-assembled QDs, which can be achieved by the growth on patterned substrates, is demonstrated. Lateral QD replication observed during growth of three-dimensional QD crystals is reported.

Self-assembly; Semiconductor quantum dots; Photoluminescence