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# RESEARCH PAPER

**Temperature dependence of optical properties of InAs
**

quantum dots grown on GaAs(113)A and (115)A substrates

M. Bennour

•

L. Bouzaı ¨ene

•

F. Saidi

•

L. Sfaxi

•

H. Maaref

Received: 21 October 2010 / Accepted: 22 August 2011

Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Abstract We have investigated the temperature

dependence of photoluminescence (PL) peak position

of InAs self-assembled quantum dots (QDs) grown on

GaAs(11N)A (N = 3, 5) substrates. The interband

transition energy is calculated by the resolution of the

3D Schro¨dinger equation for a parallelepipedic InAs

QD, with a width of about 8 nm and a height around

3 nm. Experimentally, it was found that the PL

spectra quenches at about 160 K. In addition, the full

width at half maximum (FWHM) has an abnormal

evolution with varying temperature. The latter effect

maybe due to the carrier repopulation between QDs.

The disorientation of the GaAs substrate and the low

width of terraces which was presented in the high

index surfaces have an important contribution in the

PL spectra. Despite the non-realist chosen shape of

QD and the simplest adopted model, theoretical and

experimental results revealed a clear agreement.

Keywords InAs quantum dots Á GaAs(11N)A Á

Photoluminescence Á Localized state Á

Theory, modeling and simulation

Introduction

Self-assembled InAs/GaAs quantum dots (QDs) have

unique physical properties as well as great potential

for novel optoelectronics device applications due to

their special three-dimensional conﬁnement structure

(Henini and Bugajski 2005; Sheng and Leburton

2002). In order to produce good quality of QDs

structures with high densities and low size dispersion,

a growth on high index surfaces has been put forward

(Gong et al. 2006; Godefroo et al. 2004; Temko et al.

2003; Schmidbauer et al. 2006), in particular growth

on GaAs(11N) substrates (Caroff et al. 2005; Liang

et al. 2007). Recently, we have obtained bimodal sizes

of quantum dots at a low growth rate (0.008 A/s),

whereas the homogenous size of QDs is obtained at

0.08 A/s (Bouzaı ¨ene et al. 2010). Furthermore, Liang

et al. (Liang et al. 2007) have shown the inﬂuence of

GaAs substrate orientation on the surface morphology

and on the optical properties of the InAs QDs.

Numerical methods using the ﬁnite elements analyses

(FEM) were applied by some authors for ﬁnding the

energy levels in pyramidal QD (Grundmann et al.

1995; Stier et al. 1999; Hwang et al. 2004). For this

geometry, resolving the Schro¨dinger equation using

the ﬁnite differences methods (FDM) is very complex.

The most attractive of FDM is that it can be very easy

to implement but the basic form is restricted to handle

rectangular shapes. However, it is very difﬁcult to

establish the exact geometry of QD in already grown

structures. Although, pyramidal and lens shapes are

M. Bennour Á L. Bouzaı ¨ene (&) Á F. Saidi Á

L. Sfaxi Á H. Maaref

Laboratoire de Micro-Optoe´lectronique et Nanostructures,

De´partement de Physique, Faculte´ des Sciences,

Universite´ de Monastir, Avenue de l’environnement,

5019 Monastir, Tunisia

e-mail: lotﬁ.bouzaiene@fsm.rnu.tn

123

J Nanopart Res

DOI 10.1007/s11051-011-0557-y

more realistic, many recent studies have used a very

simplest model (parallelepiped or cubic QD) which

can be described by the 3D conﬁnement potential and

can be solved by easy methods (FDM) (Yang 2008;

Boichuk et al. 2010; Abdi ben Nasrallah et al. 2010;

Wei et al. 2010; Bouazra et al. 2010). However, many

theoretical studies focused on the electronic structures

of InAs/GaAs QDs grown along the (001) or (111)

directions, but little effort was made to study the

thermalized electronic structures of QDs grown along

the (11N)A directions.

In this article, the optical transition energy as well as

the wave function were investigated by the resolution

of the Schro¨dinger equation using the ﬁnite differences

method based on single-band effective mass approx-

imation. Comparison between single-band, eight-band

k.p, and direct diagonalization empirical-pseudo

potential method (the more accurate) were reported

in reference (Wang et al. 2000). It was shown that the

commonly used eight-band k.p model did not fare

signiﬁcantly better in terms of accuracy for determin-

ing the electron band structure. The system under

investigation has the simplest possible geometry

(parallelepipedic), it nevertheless provides a good

starting point to describe the 3D conﬁning potential.

We take into account the strain distribution and the

piezoelectric ﬁeld which were present in high index

surfaces. Temperature dependent photoluminescence

measurements were carried out to investigate the

interband transition energy of the conﬁned carrier in

the InAs arrays of the QDs. We compare the interband

transition energies to the PLmeasurement results. This

allows us to analyse the thermal conﬁning carriers in

single QD and several QDs.

Experiments

InAs QDs were grown by molecular beam epitaxy

(MBE) on GaAs(113)A and GaAs(115)A substrates.

After oxide desorption at 600 °C, a GaAs buffer layer

of 0.4 lmis grown at substrate temperature of 580 °C.

Afterward, InAs was deposited at 500 °C, an As/In

ﬂux ratio of 40, and a growth rate of 0.08 A

˚

´

/s. The ﬁrst

sample (S1) consists of a 4 mL InAs deposited on

GaAs(113)A substrate. Whereas, the second (S2)

consists of 2.5 mL InAs deposited on GaAs(115)A.

The substrate temperature was measured by an

infrared pyrometer. Complementary uncapped QDs

have been grown under the particular growth condi-

tions for morphology characterization by atomic force

microscopy (AFM). PL spectroscopy was excited with

514.5 nm line of an argon ion laser. The samples were

ﬁxed in a continuous-ﬂow, He-cryostat, providing

temperature between 10 and 300 K. The PL was

detected by an InGaAs diode detector.

Theoretical consideration

We assumed that the 3D quantum-conﬁnement

structure is a parallelepipedic. This geometry is not

realistic but provides a good model to describe the

three-dimensional conﬁnement. Within this frame-

work, the Schro¨dinger equation can be following

from (Califano and Harrison 1999):

À

"h

2

2

_

o

ox

1

m

Ã

x; y; z ð Þ

ow x; y; z ð Þ

ox

_ _

þ

o

oy

1

m

Ã

x; y; z ð Þ

ow x; y; z ð Þ

oy

_ _

þ

o

oz

1

m

Ã

x; y; z ð Þ

ow x; y; z ð Þ

oz

_ _

_

þ V x; y; z ð Þ ÀE ð Þw x; y; z ð Þ ¼ 0 ð1Þ

where m* is the electron or hole effective mass. E and

w(x,y,z) are the quantized energy levels and their

corresponding electronic wave function, respectively.

The boundary conditions are:

wðx; y; zÞ ¼ 0 as x !Æ1

wðx; y; zÞ ¼ 0 as y !Æ1

wðx; y; zÞ ¼ 0 as z !Æ1

V(x,y,z) represents the 3D conﬁning potential energy

as a function of the spatial coordinates. It’s splitter

into different contributions:

V ¼ Vpz x; y; z ð Þ inside the dots

V ¼ V

A

þV

ctr

outside the dots in the barrier ð Þ;

_

ð2Þ

where V

A

is the offset of the unstrained conduction

band or valence band, which is taken from (Stoleru

et al. 2002):

Conduction band:

V

A

¼ E

o

v, av

þ

D

0

3

þE

g

ð3Þ

J Nanopart Res

123

Valence band:

V

A

¼ E

o

v;av

þ

D

0

3

ð4Þ

D

0

is the spin-orbit splitting, E

g

is the unstrained band

gap, and E°

v,av

is the average valence band-edge. V

ctr

is the strain-induced shift of the conduction band or

valence band which is expressed as:

Conduction band:

V

ctr

¼ a

c

ðe

xx

þe

yy

þe

zz

Þ ð5Þ

a

c

is the deformation potential for the conduction

band.

Valence band:

V

ctr

¼ a

v

e

xx

þe

yy

þe

zz

_ _

À

1

2

b e

zz

À

1

2

e

xx

þe

yy

_ _

_ _

ð6Þ

a

v

is the equibiaxial deformation potential for the

valence band and b is the uniaxial deformation

potential.

V

pz

is the piezoelectric potential energy that can be

written as:

V

pz

ðx; y; zÞ ¼ e xF

x

þyF

y

þzF

z

_ _

ð7Þ

where F is the magnitude of the piezoelectric ﬁeld for

a (11N)A (N = 3, 5) orientated substrate, which can

be written as:

F

~

ð11NÞA

F

x

¼

À4e

14

d C

11

þ2C

12

ð Þ N

2

À1 ð Þ 2 þN

2

ð Þ

e

0

e

r

D

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

2N

2

þ4

p

F

y

¼ 0

F

z

¼

6e

14

dN C

11

þ2C

12

ð Þ 2 þN

2

ð Þ

e

0

e

r

D

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

2 þN

2

p

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

ð8Þ

where

D ¼ 2 þN

4

_ _

C

11

þ2 1 þ2N

2

_ _

C

12

þ4 1 þ2N

2

_ _

C

44

ð9Þ

C

11

, C

12,

and C

44

are the elastic stiffness tensor

coefﬁcients and e

14

is the piezoelectric constant of the

material (Vaccaro et al. 1995), and d is the lattice-

constant mismatch:

d ¼

a

GaAs

Àa

InAs

a

InAs

ð10Þ

To determine the symmetry of the deformation,

the strain-tensor elements can be described with the

coordinate system of the epitaxial growth. In this

basis, the strain-tensor elements for GaAs(11N)A are

as following (Caridi and Stark 1992):

11N ð Þ: e

xx

¼ e

yy

¼ d ð11Þ

e

zz

¼ d

2

D

_

Àð1 þ2N

2

ÞC

11

Àð3 þ2N

2

þN

4

ÞC

12

þ2ð1 þ2N

2

ÞC

44

ð12Þ

Table 1 illustrates the physical constants considered

in this study.

In order to solve Eq. (1) numerically over a three-

dimensional volume (L

x

, L

y

, L

z

), the structure is

discretized into an array using the FDM. Thus,

Eq. (1) becomes:

À

"h

2

4

1

D

2

x

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

iÀ1;j;k

_ _

w

iÀ1;j;k

þ

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

iþ1;j;k

_ _

w

iþ1;j;k

þ

2

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

iÀ1;j;k

þ

1

m

iþ1;j;k

_ _

w

i;j;k

_ _

þ

1

D

2

y

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;jÀ1;k

_ _

w

i;jÀ1;k

þ

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;jþ1;k

_ _

w

i;jþ1;k

þ

2

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;jÀ1;k

þ

1

m

i;jþ1;k

_ _

w

i;j;k

_ _

þ

1

D

2

z

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;j;kÀ1

_ _

w

i;j;kÀ1

þ

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;j;kþ1

_ _

w

i;j;kþ1

þ

2

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;j;kÀ1

þ

1

m

i;j;kþ1

_ _

w

i;j;k

_ _

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

þ V

i;j;k

ÀE

i;j;k

_ _

w

i;j;k

¼ 0

ð13Þ

J Nanopart Res

123

Here Dx = Dy = Dz and we can write Eq. (13) as

follows:

Aw

i;j;k

¼ E

i;j;k

w

i;j;k

ð14Þ

where A is a tensor of rank 6:

A

i;i;j;j;k;k

¼ À

1

2D

2

x

_

6

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

iÀ1;j;k

þ

1

m

iþ1;j;k

þ

1

m

i;jÀ1;k

þ

1

m

i;jþ1;k

þ

1

m

i;j;kÀ1

þ

1

m

i;j;kþ1

_

þ

2

"h

2

V

i;j;k

¼ A

0

A

i;iÀ1;j;j;k;k

¼

1

2D

2

x

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

iÀ1;j;k

_ _

¼ A

1

;

A

i;iþ1;j;j;k;k

¼

1

2D

2

x

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

iþ1;j;k

_ _

¼ A

2

A

i;i;j;jÀ1;k;k

¼

1

2D

2

x

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;jÀ1;k

_ _

¼ A

3

;

A

i;i;j;jþ1;k;k

¼

1

2D

2

x

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;jþ1;k

_ _

¼ A

4

A

i;i;j;j;k;kÀ1

¼

1

2D

2

x

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;j;kÀ1

_ _

¼ A

5

;

A

i;i;j;j;k;kþ1

¼

1

2D

2

x

1

m

i;j;k

þ

1

m

i;j;kþ1

_ _

¼ A

6

However, with this writing, we cannot determine the

eigenvalues and eigenvectors of any system because

Eq. (14) is not linear. In order to further simplify the

problem, we have distributed the tensor A which

was six dimensions into a single matrix D with

(n

1

9 n

2

9 n

3

) dimension. For writing this matrix,

we have used the method described by El-Moghraby

et al. (2003), then we can write Dw = Ew, where:

C

0

, C

1,

and C

2

are sub-matrices of dimension

(n

1

n

2

9 n

1

n

2

):

C

0

¼

B

0

B

2

0 Á Á Á 0

B

1

B

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

B

2

0 Á Á Á 0 B

1

B

0

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

¸ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ..ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ¸

n

2

Blocks

; C

1

¼

B

3

0 0 Á Á Á 0

0 B

3

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

0 Á Á Á 0 0 B

3

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

¸ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ..ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ¸

n

2

Blocks

; C

2

¼

B

4

0 0 Á Á Á 0

0 B

4

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

0 Á Á Á 0 0 B

4

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

¸ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ..ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ¸

n

2

Blocks

Table 1 Physical constants of the material of InAs and GaAs (Stoleru et al. 2002)

e

14

(C/m

2

) e

r

D

0

(eV) m

e

/m

0

a

c

(eV) a

v

(eV) E

v,av

(eV) b (eV)

InAs -0.045 15.15 0.38 0.0226 -5.08 1.00 -6.747 -1.8

GaAs -0.23 13.18 0.34 0.0667 -8.013 1.16 -6.92 -1.7

J Nanopart Res

123

B

0

, B

1

, B

2

, B3, and B4 are sub-matrices of

dimension (n

1

9 n

1

).

Having established the general forms of the

matrices involved, there are several computer pack-

ages available, which can be used to solve this system

of equations. In that situation, the package MAT-

LAB

Ò

was used.

Results and discussion

Figure 1a–c shows the wave function of the ground

state for the conduction band of InAs QD on

GaAs(001) (113), and (115) orientations, with height

h = 5 nm and width L

x

= L

y

= 8 nm. The shape of

the wave function shows a slight deformation for the

high index substrates compared with the conventional

substrate GaAs(001). We can attribute this behavior

to the piezoelectric ﬁeld which attracted some

electrons inside the quantum dot. In the non-existence

of the piezoelectric ﬁeld, the potential is fairly

isotropic around the dot, but for the high index

surfaces, the electrons are transferred inside the dots

under the effects of the dipolar moment generated by

the piezoelectric potential.

Solving the Schro¨dinger equation also affords a

numerical estimate of the ground state energy with

regard to the size of QDs and the substrate orienta-

tions. In Fig. 2, we present the interband transition

energy from the ground electronic sub-band to the

ground heavy-hole sub-band (E

1

? HH

1

) based to

the height of InAs QD for different orientations such

as GaAs(001) (113)A, and (115)A. A blue-shift is

observed when the disorientation between (11N) and

(001) enlarged. We have observed this behavior for

all dots heights considered in Fig. 2. Sanguinetti et al.

(Sanguinetti et al. 2000) have attributed this effect to

the piezoelectric ﬁeld. As well the increasing of the

hydrostatic strain when the disorientation between

(11N) and (001) augmented, lead to an enhancement

of the energy emission (Mlinar and Peeters 2006).

Therefore, the shift in the ground state energy shown

Fig. 1 The calculated electron envelope wave functions of the ground state for a parallelepiped shaped InAs QDs with a size

(8 9 8 9 5 nm

3

) for a GaAs(001) substrate orientation, b GaAs(115)A substrate orientation, c GaAs(113)A substrate orientation

B

0

¼

A

0

A

2

0 Á Á Á 0

A

1

A

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

A

2

0 Á Á Á 0 A

1

A

0

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

¸ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ..ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ¸

n

1

elements

; B

p

¼

A

q

0 0 Á Á Á 0

0 A

q

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

0 Á Á Á 0 0 A

q

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

¸ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ..ﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄﬄ¸

n

1

elements

where

p ¼ 1

p ¼ 2

p ¼ 3

p ¼ 4

!

!

!

!

q ¼ 3

q ¼ 4

q ¼ 5

q ¼ 6

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

J Nanopart Res

123

in Fig. 2 maybe due to combined effects of the

piezoelectric ﬁeld and of the hydrostatic strain.

Moreover, a red-shift was observed when the height

is great; this is due to the important conﬁnement of

the carriers inside the large QDs.

Besides, we have investigated the temperature

effect on the optical transition energy. The temper-

ature dependencies PL emission spectra of the

samples S1 and S2 are illustrated in Fig. 3a, b,

respectively. It is obvious that the QD PL shifts

toward lower energies, and quenches at high temper-

atures (above 140 °C for GaAs(113)A and 160 °C for

GaAs(115)A). This quenching suggests the existence

of non-radiative recombination centers between the

barriers. At elevated temperature, carriers can be

thermally excited toward the wetting layer and the

barrier, and then it is captured by the non-radiative

recombination centers. In Fig. 4a, c, we present a

comparison between PL peaks positions versus the

temperature with our theoretical results. From the

AFM images and the proﬁle of single InAs QD as

shown in Fig. 5a–d, the height of the QD is 30 and

35 A

˚

´

, their width is 80 and 77 A

˚

´

for (113)A and

(115)A substrate orientations, respectively.

The temperature dependence of the unstrained

band gap (E

g

) follows the typical Varshni law

(Varshni 1967), which was taken for the GaAs and

InAs as follows (Baira et al. 2009):

E

GaAs

g

T ð Þ ¼ E

GaAs

g

0 ð Þ À

0:00058T

2

300 þT

ð15Þ

E

InAs

g

T ð Þ ¼ E

InAs

g

0 ð Þ À

0:000419T

2

271 þT

ð16Þ

where E

g

(0) is the band gap energy at the temperature

T = 0 K.

We can easily notice here that the temperature

dependent band gap of GaAs is independent of the

crystal orientation (Lu¨erben et al. 2000).

Figure 4a, c demonstrates qualitatively different

behaviors. At lower temperatures (under 50 K) the

carriers are well localized in the QDs for both

samples. However, the slight differences between

experimental and theoretical results at the lower

temperatures are owing to us not taking into account

the exciton effects in the calculations. Then, when the

temperature climbed, a reduction of the energy peak

position is observed. This is close to the behavior of

the bulk material; suggesting that the bulk material

related mechanism such as the thermal lattice

expansion and electron–phonon interaction, contrib-

ute more to the energy gap variation (Lee et al. 2002).

Nevertheless, the measured experimental data of QDs

shows signiﬁcant deviation from theoretical energy at

high temperature. This indicates that QDs have

1,0 1,1 1,2 1,3 1,4 1,5

10K

20K

30K

40K

50K

60K

80K

100K

120K

140K

160K

P

L

I

n

t

e

n

s

i

t

y

(

u

,

a

)

E (eV)

InAs/GaAs(115)A

(b)

1,05 1,10 1,15 1,20 1,25 1,30 1,35 1,40 1,45

x10

10K

20K

30K

40K

50K

60K

80K

100K

120K

140K

P

L

I

n

t

e

n

s

i

t

y

(

u

,

a

)

E (eV)

x3

InAs/GaAs(113)A

(a)

Fig. 3 PL spectra

measured at different

temperatures of the a InAs/

GaAs(113)A, b InAs/GaAs

(115)A

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

0,85

0,90

0,95

1,00

1,05

1,10

1,15

1,20

1,25

1,30

1,35

E

n

e

r

g

y

(

e

V

)

h (nm)

001

(115)A

(113)A

Fig. 2 Calculated electron–heavy-hole transition energies in a

parallelepipedic InAs QD as a function of the height for three

different orientations: GaAs(001), GaAs(113)AandGaAs(115)A

J Nanopart Res

123

different temperature dependent energy gap variation

properties than the single QD (theoretical result). In

fact, at high temperatures, the ground state of isolated

QD are slightly up to the energy emission from

several QDs. Indeed, when the carriers are thermally

active, it is transferred between the different sizes of

QDs so that experimental results show clearly that the

dots have considerably inhomogeneous shape com-

pared with that of the isolated InAs QDs grown on

GaAs(001) at similar growth condition which we

have taken in our samples (Bouzaı ¨ene et al. 2011).

Therefore, the inhomogeneous broadening of PL

peaks as shown in Fig. 3, may stem from coupled

QDs or/and multimodal distribution in the QDs sizes.

In order to study the behavior of the carrier in the

several InAs QDs grown on high index substrates, we

have presented in Fig. 4b, d the temperature depen-

dence of the full width at half maximum (FWHM) for

both the samples S1 and S2. We have denoted a

decrease of the FWHM with respect to temperature

until 80 K then it climbs considerably for tempera-

tures up to 100 K. This behavior has been observed

previously and explained qualitatively with therm-

ionic emission of the photo-carriers out of the QDs

potential (Bouzaı ¨ene et al. 2010; Mazin et al. 1994).

Furthermore, it was found that at high degree of

disorientation substrate from GaAs(001) the QDs

become coupled (Smirnov et al. 2010). In fact, we

can explain the FWHM drop by the carriers tunneling

between the coupled InAs QDs and between the

inhomogeneous distributed QDs ensembles via the

wetting layer (WL). It is worth noticing that, for

the ground state the FWHM is about 93 meV for

the QDs grown on GaAs(115)A and 65 meV for the

InAs/GaAs(113)A, and this also evidences that

the QDs are coupled. The last assumption, is due to

the disorientation of the substrate and to the different

terraces which existed on the GaAs(113)A and

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

F

W

H

M

(

m

e

V

)

Temperature(K)

(b)

0 30 60 90 120 150 180

85

90

95

100

105

F

W

H

M

(

m

e

V

)

Temperature (K)

(d)

10 100

1,14

1,15

1,16

1,17

1,18

1,19

1,20

1,21

1,22

1,23

1,24

1,25

Experimental results

Theoretical results

E

n

e

r

g

y

(

e

V

)

Temperature (K)

(c)

10 100

1,20

1,22

1,24

1,26

1,28

1,30

1,32

1,34

Theoretical results

Experimental results

E

n

e

r

g

y

(

e

V

)

Temperature (K)

(a)

Fig. 4 Temperature

dependence of the PL peak

energy for a InAs/

GaAs(113)A, c InAs/

GaAs(115)A. FWHM

dependence of the PL peak

energy for b InAs/

GaAs(113)A, d InAs/

GaAs(115)A

J Nanopart Res

123

GaAs(115)A surfaces. The terraces caused progres-

sive inhibition of the atom migration, and then the

nucleation of the islands is localized along the step

edges, where the surface energy is lower. The

localization of the strain at the step edges or on

patterned substrates followed that the adatoms trans-

ferred between the large islands lead to train the

coupled QDs. Then the increase of the FWHM when

the temperature is high enough, the effect of

electron–phonon scattering becomes a dominant

contribution. On the other hand, the supposition of

the nonuniformity size distribution of the QDs occur

on the high index substrate, the reason is following to

that stress distribution on the surface of GaAs(11N)A

is inhomogeneous. Therefore, the increment of non-

uniformity and enlarged FWHM are obtained.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the optical properties of the InAs

quantum dots grown on GaAs(113)A and GaAs

(115)A substrates were investigated using tempera-

ture dependent PL measurement. We have calculated

the ground state energy and their corresponding wave

functions by solving the three-dimensional Schro¨-

dinger equation and the interband transition energy

from the ground electronic sub-band to the heavy-

hole sub-band (E

1

? HH

1

). We have observed a

reasonable agreement between our experimental and

theoretical results. From the asymmetry in the PL

peaks and the abnormal progress of the FWHM with

temperature we can assume that the QDs are coupled

and they have not uniform size distribution. This

behavior is attributed to the accumulation of strain on

the step edges surface which was presented in the

high index substrates.

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