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Open Access Nano Express

Superlattices: problems and new opportunities, nanosolids

Raphael Tsu

Author Affiliations

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223 USA

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:127  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-127

Published: 10 February 2011

Abstract

Superlattices were introduced 40 years ago as man-made solids to enrich the class of materials for electronic and optoelectronic applications. The field metamorphosed to quantum wells and quantum dots, with ever decreasing dimensions dictated by the technological advancements in nanometer regime. In recent years, the field has gone beyond semiconductors to metals and organic solids. Superlattice is simply a way of forming a uniform continuum for whatever purpose at hand. There are problems with doping, defect-induced random switching, and I/O involving quantum dots. However, new opportunities in component-based nanostructures may lead the field of endeavor to new heights. The all important translational symmetry of solids is relaxed and local symmetry is needed in nanosolids.