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Open Access Nano Review

Properties of nanocones formed on a surface of semiconductors by laser radiation: quantum confinement effect of electrons, phonons, and excitons

Artur Medvid*, Pavels Onufrijevs and Alexander Mychko

Author affiliations

Research Laboratory of Semiconductor Physics, Institute of Technical Physics, Riga Technical University, 14/24 Azenes Str., Riga, LV-1048, Latvia

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:582  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-582

Published: 7 November 2011


On the basis of the analysis of experimental results, a two-stage mechanism of nanocones formation on the irradiated surface of semiconductors by Nd:YAG laser is proposed for elementary semiconductors and solid solutions, such as Si, Ge, SiGe, and CdZnTe. Properties observed are explained in the frame of quantum confinement effect. The first stage of the mechanism is characterized by the formation of a thin strained top layer, due to redistribution of point defects in temperature-gradient field induced by laser radiation. The second stage is characterized by mechanical plastic deformation of the stained top layer leading to arising of nanocones, due to selective laser absorption of the top layer. The nanocones formed on the irradiated surface of semiconductors by Nd:YAG laser possessing the properties of 1D graded bandgap have been found for Si, Ge, and SiGe as well, however QD structure in CdTe was observed. The model is confirmed by "blue shift" of bands in photoluminescence spectrum, "red shift" of longitudinal optical line in Raman back scattering spectrum of Ge crystal, appearance of Ge phase in SiGe solid solution after irradiation by the laser at intensity 20 MW/cm2, and non-monotonous dependence of Si crystal micro-hardness as function of the laser intensity.