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Analysis of Wetting Layer Effect on Electronic Structures of Truncated-pyramid Quantum Dots

Analysis of Wetting Layer Effect on Electronic Structures of Truncated-pyramid Quantum Dots

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Opt Quant ElectronDOI 10.1007/s11082-011-9460-0
Analysis of wetting layer effect on electronic structuresof truncated-pyramid quantum dots
Qiuji Zhao
·
Ting Mei
·
Daohua Zhang
·
Oka Kurniawan
Received: 27 September 2010 / Accepted: 16 March 2011© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011
Abstract
We carry out a theoretical analysis of wetting layer effect on band-edge profilesandelectronicstructuresofInAs/GaAstruncated-pyramidquantumdots,includingthestraineffect.Acombinationofananalyticalstrainmodelandaneight-bandFouriertransform-based
·
p
method is adopted in the calculation. Strain modified band-edge profiles indicates thatwetting layer widens the potential well inside the dot region. Wetting layer changes ground-state energy significantly whereas modifies probability density function only a little. Themain acting region of wetting layer is just underneath the base of the dot. Wetting layerredistributes probability density functions of the lowest electron state and probability den-sity functions of highest hole state differently because of the different action of quantumconfinement on electrons and holes.
Keywords
Electronic structures
·
Fourier-transform based
·
p
method
·
InAs/GaAs quantum dots
·
Wetting layer effect
1 Introduction
Self-assembled quantum dots in the application of optoelectronics are usually fabricatedby the Stranski-Krastanov (SK) epitaxial growth model(Bimberg et al. 1999). Taking the InAs/GaAs structure shown in Fig.1as an example, about a 1-2ML InAs wetting layer (WL)
Q. Zhao
·
D. ZhangSchool of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University,50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, SingaporeT. Mei (
B
)Institute of Optoelectronic Material and Technology, South China Normal University,51063 Guangzhou, People’s Republic of Chinae-mail: ting.mei@ieee.orgO. KurniawanInstitute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR,Singapore 117528, Singapore
 123
 
Q. Zhao et al.
Fig. 1
Geometric model of atruncated-pyramid InAs/GaAsquantum-dot structure. The
bottom
dimension, the
top
dimension, and the
height 
of dotare 12nm, 12
nm, and6(1–
)nm, respectively. Thethickness of WL is 0.5nm.
isthe truncation factor
x[100]y[010]z[001]GaAsInAs
is grown on a substrate, followed by a spontaneous coherent InAs island formation process.Finally, a deposition of an additional GaAs material, which is usually the same material asthe substrate, is adopted to cover the quantum-dot island. Deposition of the thin WL leads tomisfit strain at the interface of WL and substrate, and the associated strain energy increasesrapidly as the WL thickens. As a critical thickness of WL is created, formation of the dotisland can occur to relieve the strain energy (Matthews 1975). Therefore, there must be influ-ence of WL on strain distribution and electronic structures of quantum dots. However, WLis usually omitted or seldom discussed throughly by considering the very thin thickness of the WL in the past works(Pryor 1998;Andreev et al. 1999;Stier et al. 1999;Schlliwa et al.2007). Therefore, it is necessary to examine the effect of WL completely, especially forthose structures with high aspect ratios. WL effect on electronic structures of a very shallowInAs/GaAs lens-shape quantum dot has been investigated using the atomic strain model andthe empirical tight-binding model that are much more complicated than the continuum strainmodel and the
·
p
model (Lee et al. 2004). Consequently, we adopt an eight-band Fou-rier transform-based
·
p
method (FTM) (Mei 2007;Zhao and Mei 2011) together with an analytical continuum strain model (Andreev et al. 1999) to study effect of WL on electronicstructures of a series of truncated-pyramid InAs/GaAs quantum dots in this article. We firstinvestigate effect of WL on ground-state energies of quantum dots with different heights,and then we select half-truncated structures to find the detail information of WL effect.
2 Computation method
2.1 Strain and band-edge profilesFor the strain calculation, we utilize the analytical method developed with Fourier-transformtechnique (Andreev et al. 1999). To see the detail position of conduction band (CB), HHband, LH band, and SO band after strain modification, we investigate the band-edge profileswith following expressions(Chuang 1995),
 E 
c
=
g
+
a
c
e
h
 H
=
a
v
e
h
be
b
 E 
 L
=
a
v
e
h
+
be
b
SO
=
a
v
e
h
,
(1)where
a
c
,
a
v
,
b
,
and
are the CB deformation potential, hydrostatic valence band defor-mation potential, shear deformation potential and spin-orbit splitting energy, respectively.
e
h
 123
 
Analysis of wetting layer effect on electronic structures of truncated-pyramid quantum dots
and
e
b
are the hydrostatic strain and biaxial strain expressed as,
e
h
=
e
 xx
+
e
 yy
+
e
 zz
e
b
=
e
 zz
e
 xx
+
e
 yy
/
2
.
(2)2.2 Electronic structuresElectronic structures of quantum dots are usually obtained by solving equation includingenvelop function
F
(r) and position-dependent Hamiltonian matrix
H
(r;k) with differentialoperators,
H
r
;ˆ
 x
,
ˆ
 y
,
ˆ
 z
F
(
)
=
F
(
r
),
(3)where
is the energy. The envelop function
F
(r) of a QD superlattice can be expanded inplane waves along
x
,
y
, and
z
,
F
(
r
)
=
1
 
 x
 y
 z
e
i
 x
 x
+
i
 y
 y
+
i
 z
 z
n
 x
n
 y
n
 z
c
n
 x
n
 y
n
 z
e
i
(
n
 x
κ
 x
 x
+
n
 y
κ
 y
 y
+
n
 z
κ
 z
 z
),
(4)where
 x
,
 y
, and
 z
are periods along
x
,
y
, and
z
directions,
κ
α
=
2
π
α
,
π
a
<
α
<
π
a
for
α
=
x
,
y
,
 z
,
c
n
 x
n
 y
n
 z
=
c
1
c
2
...
c
8
n
 x
n
 y
n
 z
,
and
a
is the lattice constant. Envelop func-tion
F
(r) can be approximated using Fourier series and complex exponential components,and the Fourier transform of the spatially-varying Hamiltonian
H
(r;k) can be obtained byentering analytical Fourier transform of quantum dot shape functions into the Hamiltonianmatrix
H
(r;k) of 
·
p
theory. Therefore, the matrix of Fourier domain Hamiltonian
M
for theeigen-problem can be formulated by a bra-ket operation to (3)utilizing the orthogonal- ity of complex exponential function in
F
(r), and the new eigen-problem can be written as(Mei 2007;Zhao and Mei 2011),
[
M
st 
][
c
] =
[
c
]
,
(5)where
M
is constructed with Fourier series of 
H
(r;k) as follows,
M
st 
=
12
 x
,
 y
,
 z
α,β
˜
 H 
(αβ)
u
v,
q
i
=
m
i
n
i
K
+
12
 x
,
 y
,
 z
α
˜
 H 
(α)
u
v,
q
i
=
m
i
n
i
+˜
 H 
(
0
)
u
v,
q
i
=
m
i
n
i
,
(6)and,
K
=
2
α
β
+
α
(
m
β
+
n
β
β
+
β
(
m
α
+
n
α
α
+
(
m
α
n
β
+
m
β
n
α
α
κ
β
=
2
α
+
(
m
α
+
n
α
α
.
(7)The dimension of 
M
is only determined by the truncated order of Fourier frequenciesof H(r;k), i.e.
(
2
 N 
 x
+
1
)(
2
 N 
 y
+
1
)(
2
 N 
 z
+
1
)
×
(
2
 N 
 x
+
1
)(
2
 N 
 y
+
1
)(
2
 N 
 z
+
1
),
isthe number of total bands involved in the calculation, and
α
=
x
,
y
,
 z
)
is the truncatedFourierorder.Comparedthecalculationusingthetight-bindingmodel,calculationwithFTMis much easier and more convenient. The drawback of spurious solutions in
·
p
theory canalso be avoided by truncating the higher order of Fourier series(Zhao and Mei 2011).
 123

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