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**Introduction to Nano-materials
**

“”moqademe””

As part of ECE-758 – Introduction

to Nanotechnology

2

Outline

• What is “nano-material” and why we are

interested in it?

• Ways lead to the realization of nano-materials

• Optical and electronic properties of nano-

materials

• Applications

3

What is “nano-material” ?

• Narrow definition: low dimension semiconductor

structures including quantum wells, quantum

wires, and quantum dots

• Unlike bulk semiconductor material, artificial

structure in nanometer scale (from a few nm’s to

a few tens of nm’s, 1nm is about 2 mono-

layers/lattices) must be introduced in addition to

the “naturally” given semiconductor crystalline

structure

4

Why we are interested in “nano-material”?

• Expecting different behavior of electrons in their

transport (for electronic devices) and correlation

(for optoelectronic devices) from conventional

bulk material

5

Stages from free-space to nano-material

• Free-space

SchrÖdinger equation in free-space:

Solution:

Electron behavior: plane wave

,... 3 , 2 , 1 , / 2 = = l L l k

t

1

) / (

Et r k i

k

e

÷

= ¢

0

2 2

2

| |

m

k

E

=

t r t r

t

i

m

, ,

2

0

)

2

(

¢ ¢

c

c

= V ÷

6

Stages from free-space to nano-material

• Bulk semiconductor

SchrÖdinger equation in bulk semiconductor:

Solution:

Electron behavior: Bloch wave

t r t r

t

i r V

m

, , 0

2

0

)] (

2

[

¢ ¢

c

c

= + V ÷

) ( ) (

0 0

R l r V r V

+ =

r

e

r V

c

2

0

) ( ÷ =

k n e

Et r k i

k n

) / ( ÷

= ¢

eff

m

k

E

2

| |

2 2

=

7

Stages from free-space to nano-material

• Nano-material

SchrÖdinger equation in nano-material:

with artificially generated extra potential contribution:

Solution:

t r t r nano

t

i r V r V

m

, , 0

2

0

)] ( ) (

2

[

¢ ¢

c

c

= + + V ÷

) (r V

nano

k n r F e

k n

iEt

k n

) (

,

/ ÷

= ¢

8

Stages from free-space to nano-material

Electron behavior:

Quantum well – 1D confined and in parallel plane 2D

Bloch wave

Quantum wire – in cross-sectional plane 2D confined and

1D Bloch wave

Quantum dot – all 3D confined

9

A summary on electron behavior

• Free space

– plane wave with inherent electron mass

– continued parabolic dispersion (E~k) relation

– density of states in terms of E: continues square root

dependence

• Bulk semiconductor

– plane wave like with effective mass, two different type of

electrons identified with opposite sign of their effective mass,

i.e., electrons and holes

– parabolic band dispersion (E~k) relation

– density of states in terms of E: continues square root

dependence, with different parameters for electrons/holes in

different band

10

A summary on electron behavior

• Quantum well

– discrete energy levels in 1D for both electrons and holes

– plane wave like with (different) effective masses in 2D parallel

plane for electrons and holes

– dispersion (E~k) relation: parabolic bands with discrete states

inside the stop-band

– density of states in terms of E: additive staircase functions, with

different parameters for electrons/holes in different band

• Quantum wire

– discrete energy levels in 2D cross-sectional plane for both

electrons and holes

– plane wave like with (different) effective masses in 1D for

electrons and holes

– dispersion (E~k) relation: parabolic bands with discrete states

inside the stop-band

– density of states in terms of E: additive staircase decayed

functions, with different parameters for electrons/holes in

different band

11

A summary on electron behavior

• Quantum dot

– discrete energy levels for both electrons and holes

– dispersion (E~k) relation: atomic-like k-independent discrete

energy states only

– density of states in terms of E: o-functions for electrons/holes

12

Why we are interested in “nano-material”?

Electrons in semiconductors: highly mobile, easily

transportable and correlated, yet highly

scattered in terms of energy

Electrons in atomic systems: highly regulated in

terms of energy, but not mobile

13

Why we are interested in “nano-material”?

Electrons in semiconductors: easily controllable

and accessible, yet poor inherent performance

Electrons in atomic systems: excellent inherent

performance, yet hardly controllable or

accessible

14

Why we are interested in “nano-material”?

• Answer: take advantage of both semiconductors

and atomic systems – Semiconductor quantum

dot material

15

Why we are interested in “nano-material”?

• Detailed reasons:

– Geometrical dimensions in the artificial structure can be tuned to

change the confinement of electrons and holes, hence to tailor

the correlations (e.g., excitations, transitions and

recombinations)

– Relaxation and dephasing processes are slowed due to the

reduced probability of inelastic and elastic collisions (much

expected for quantum computing, could be a drawback for light

emitting devices)

– Definite polarization (spin of photons are regulated)

– (Coulomb) binding between electron and hole is increased due

to the localization

– Increased binding and confinement also gives increased

electron-hole overlap, which leads to larger dipole matrix

elements and larger transition rates

– Increased confinement reduces the extent of the electron and

hole states and thereby reduces the dipole moment

16

Ways lead to the realization of nano-material

• Required nano-structure size:

Electron in fully confined structure (QD with edge size d), its allowed

(quantized) energy (E) scales as 1/d

2

(infinite barrier assumed)

Coulomb interaction energy (V) between electron and other charged

particle scales as 1/d

If the confinement length is so large that V>>E, the Coulomb interaction

mixes all the quantized electron energy levels and the material

shows a bulk behavior, i.e., the quantization feature is not preserved

for the same type of electrons (with the same effective mass), but

still preserved among different type of electrons, hence we have

(discrete) energy bands

If the confinement length is so small that V<<E, the Coulomb

interaction has little effect on the quantized electron energy levels,

i.e., the quantization feature is preserved, hence we have discrete

energy levels

17

Ways lead to the realization of nano-material

• Required nano-structure size:

Similar arguments can be made about the effects of

temperature, i.e., k

B

T ~ E?

But k

B

T doesn’t change the electron eigen states, instead,

it changes the excitation, or the filling of electrons into

the eigen energy structure

If k

B

T>E, even E is a discrete set, temperature effect still

distribute electrons over multiple energy levels and dilute

the concentration of the density of states provided by the

confinement, since E can never be a single energy level

Therefore, we also need k

B

T<E!

18

Ways lead to the realization of nano-material

• Required nano-structure size:

The critical size is, therefore, given by V(d

c

)=E(d

c

)>k

B

T (25meV at room

temperature).

For typical III-V semiconductor compounds, d

c

~10nm-100nm (around

20 to 200 mono-layers).

More specifically, if d

c

<10nm, full quantization, if d

c

>100nm, full bulk

(mix-up).

On the other hand, d

c

must be large enough to ensure that at least one

electron or one electron plus one hole (depending on applications)

state are bounded inside the nano-structure.

19

Ways lead to the realization of nano-material

• Current technologies

– Top-down approach: patterning ÷ etching ÷

re-growth

– Bottom-top approach: patterning ÷ etching ÷

selective-growth

– Uneven substrate growth: edge overgrowth,

V-shape growth, interface QD, etc.

– Self-organized growth: most successful

approach so far

20

Electronic Properties

• Ballistic transport – a result of much reduced

electron-phonon scattering, low temperature

mobility in QW (in-plane direction) reaches a

rather absurd value ~10

7

cm

2

/s-V, with

corresponding mean free path over 100µm

• Resulted effect – electrons can be steered,

deflected and focused in a manner very similar

to optics, as an example, Young’s double slit

diffraction was demonstrated on such platform

21

Electronic Properties

• Low dimension tunneling – as a collective effect

of multiple nano-structures, resonance appears

due to the “phase-matching” requirement

• Resulted effect – stair case like I-V

characteristics, on the down-turn side, negative

resistance shows up

22

Electronic Properties

• If excitation (charging) itself is also quantized

(through, e.g., Coulomb blockade), interaction

between the excitation quantization and the

quantized eigen states (i.e., the discrete energy

levels in nano-structure) brings us into a

completely discrete regime

• Resulted effect – a possible platform to

manipulate single electron to realize various

functionalities, e.g., single electron transistor

(SET) for logical gate or memory cell

23

Optical Properties

• Discretization of energy levels increases the

density of states

• Resulted effect – enhances narrow band

correlation, such as electron-hole recombination;

for QD lasers, the threshold will be greatly

reduced

24

Optical Properties

• Discretization of energy levels reduces

broadband correlation

• Resulted effect – reduces relaxation and

dephasing, reduces temperature dependence;

former keeps the electrons in coherence, which

is very much needed in quantum computing;

latter reduces device performance temperature

dependence (e.g., QD laser threshold and

efficiency, QD detector sensitivity, etc.)

25

Optical Properties

• Quantized energy level dependence on size

(geometric dimension)

• Resulted effect – tuning of optical

gain/absorption spectrum

26

Optical Properties

• Discretization of energy levels leads to zero

dispersion at the gain peak

• Resulted effect – reduces chirp, a very much

needed property in dynamic application of

optoelectronic devices (e.g., optical modulators

or directly modulated lasers)

27

Applications

• Light source - QD lasers, QC (Quantum

Cascade) lasers

• Light detector – QDIP (Quantum Dot Infrared

Photo-detector)

• Electromagnetic induced transparency (EIT) – to

obtain transparent highly dispersive materials

• Ballistic electron devices

• Tunneling electron devices

• Single electron devices

28

References

• Solid State Physics – C. Kittel, “Introduction to Solid State Physics”,

Springer, ISBN: 978-0-471-41526-8

• Basic Quantum Mechanics – L. Schiff, “Quantum Mechanics”, 3

rd

Edition, McGraw Hill, 1967, ISBN-0070856435

• On nano-material electronic properties – W. Kirk and M. Reed,

“Nanostructures and Mesoscopic Systems”, Academic Press, 1991,

ISBN-0124096603

• On nano-material and device fabrication techniques – T. Steiner,

“Semiconductor Nanostructures for Optoelectronic Applications”,

Artech House, 2004, ISBN-1580537510

• On nano-material optical properties – G. Bryant and G. Solomon,

“Optics of Quantum Dots and Wires”, Artech House, 2005, ISBN-

1580537618

Outline

• What is “nano-material” and why we are interested in it? • Ways lead to the realization of nano-materials • Optical and electronic properties of nanomaterials • Applications

2

1nm is about 2 monolayers/lattices) must be introduced in addition to the “naturally” given semiconductor crystalline structure 3 . artificial structure in nanometer scale (from a few nm’s to a few tens of nm’s. and quantum dots • Unlike bulk semiconductor material.What is “nano-material” ? • Narrow definition: low dimension semiconductor structures including quantum wells. quantum wires.

Why we are interested in “nano-material”? • Expecting different behavior of electrons in their transport (for electronic devices) and correlation (for optoelectronic devices) from conventional bulk material 4 .

t i r .Stages from free-space to nano-material • Free-space SchrÖdinger equation in free-space: 2 ( ) r .2..3. l 1. E 2m0 k e i ( kr Et / ) 1 Electron behavior: plane wave 5 ...t 2m0 t Solution: 2 2 |k | k 2l / L.

t i r .Stages from free-space to nano-material • Bulk semiconductor SchrÖdinger equation in bulk semiconductor: 2 [ V0 (r )] r .t 2m0 t e2 V0 (r ) V0 (r lR ) V0 ( r ) r Solution: 2 2 |k | e i ( kr Et / ) nk E nk 2meff Electron behavior: Bloch wave 6 .

t 2m0 t with artificially generated extra potential contribution: Vnano (r ) Solution: nk e iEt / Fn.Stages from free-space to nano-material • Nano-material SchrÖdinger equation in nano-material: 2 [ V0 (r ) Vnano (r )] r .t i r .k (r ) nk 7 .

Stages from free-space to nano-material Electron behavior: Quantum well – 1D confined and in parallel plane 2D Bloch wave Quantum wire – in cross-sectional plane 2D confined and 1D Bloch wave Quantum dot – all 3D confined 8 .

. i. with different parameters for electrons/holes in different band 9 .e. two different type of electrons identified with opposite sign of their effective mass.A summary on electron behavior • Free space – plane wave with inherent electron mass – continued parabolic dispersion (E~k) relation – density of states in terms of E: continues square root dependence • Bulk semiconductor – plane wave like with effective mass. electrons and holes – parabolic band dispersion (E~k) relation – density of states in terms of E: continues square root dependence.

A summary on electron behavior • Quantum well – discrete energy levels in 1D for both electrons and holes – plane wave like with (different) effective masses in 2D parallel plane for electrons and holes – dispersion (E~k) relation: parabolic bands with discrete states inside the stop-band – density of states in terms of E: additive staircase functions. with different parameters for electrons/holes in different band • Quantum wire – discrete energy levels in 2D cross-sectional plane for both electrons and holes – plane wave like with (different) effective masses in 1D for electrons and holes – dispersion (E~k) relation: parabolic bands with discrete states inside the stop-band – density of states in terms of E: additive staircase decayed functions. with different parameters for electrons/holes in different band 10 .

A summary on electron behavior • Quantum dot – discrete energy levels for both electrons and holes – dispersion (E~k) relation: atomic-like k-independent discrete energy states only – density of states in terms of E: -functions for electrons/holes 11 .

yet highly scattered in terms of energy Electrons in atomic systems: highly regulated in terms of energy. but not mobile 12 .Why we are interested in “nano-material”? Electrons in semiconductors: highly mobile. easily transportable and correlated.

yet poor inherent performance Electrons in atomic systems: excellent inherent performance.Why we are interested in “nano-material”? Electrons in semiconductors: easily controllable and accessible. yet hardly controllable or accessible 13 .

Why we are interested in “nano-material”? • Answer: take advantage of both semiconductors and atomic systems – Semiconductor quantum dot material 14 .

Why we are interested in “nano-material”? • Detailed reasons: – Geometrical dimensions in the artificial structure can be tuned to change the confinement of electrons and holes.. could be a drawback for light emitting devices) – Definite polarization (spin of photons are regulated) – (Coulomb) binding between electron and hole is increased due to the localization – Increased binding and confinement also gives increased electron-hole overlap. which leads to larger dipole matrix elements and larger transition rates – Increased confinement reduces the extent of the electron and hole states and thereby reduces the dipole moment 15 . hence to tailor the correlations (e. transitions and recombinations) – Relaxation and dephasing processes are slowed due to the reduced probability of inelastic and elastic collisions (much expected for quantum computing.g. excitations.

the Coulomb interaction has little effect on the quantized electron energy levels. its allowed (quantized) energy (E) scales as 1/d2 (infinite barrier assumed) Coulomb interaction energy (V) between electron and other charged particle scales as 1/d If the confinement length is so large that V>>E..e. hence we have (discrete) energy bands If the confinement length is so small that V<<E.e. the quantization feature is not preserved for the same type of electrons (with the same effective mass).Ways lead to the realization of nano-material • Required nano-structure size: Electron in fully confined structure (QD with edge size d). the Coulomb interaction mixes all the quantized electron energy levels and the material shows a bulk behavior. hence we have discrete energy levels 16 . i. but still preserved among different type of electrons.. i. the quantization feature is preserved.

i.Ways lead to the realization of nano-material • Required nano-structure size: Similar arguments can be made about the effects of temperature.e. even E is a discrete set. it changes the excitation. temperature effect still distribute electrons over multiple energy levels and dilute the concentration of the density of states provided by the confinement. since E can never be a single energy level Therefore. instead. or the filling of electrons into the eigen energy structure If kBT>E.. kBT ~ E? But kBT doesn’t change the electron eigen states. we also need kBT<E! 17 .

More specifically. full quantization. given by V(dc)=E(dc)>kBT (25meV at room temperature). dc must be large enough to ensure that at least one electron or one electron plus one hole (depending on applications) state are bounded inside the nano-structure. full bulk (mix-up). therefore.Ways lead to the realization of nano-material • Required nano-structure size: The critical size is. if dc>100nm. 18 . For typical III-V semiconductor compounds. On the other hand. dc~10nm-100nm (around 20 to 200 mono-layers). if dc<10nm.

interface QD. V-shape growth. etc. – Self-organized growth: most successful approach so far 19 .Ways lead to the realization of nano-material • Current technologies – Top-down approach: patterning etching re-growth – Bottom-top approach: patterning etching selective-growth – Uneven substrate growth: edge overgrowth.

Young’s double slit diffraction was demonstrated on such platform 20 . with corresponding mean free path over 100m • Resulted effect – electrons can be steered. as an example. low temperature mobility in QW (in-plane direction) reaches a rather absurd value ~107cm2/s-V. deflected and focused in a manner very similar to optics.Electronic Properties • Ballistic transport – a result of much reduced electron-phonon scattering.

negative resistance shows up 21 . on the down-turn side. resonance appears due to the “phase-matching” requirement • Resulted effect – stair case like I-V characteristics.Electronic Properties • Low dimension tunneling – as a collective effect of multiple nano-structures.

Coulomb blockade).g.. e.Electronic Properties • If excitation (charging) itself is also quantized (through. single electron transistor (SET) for logical gate or memory cell 22 . the discrete energy levels in nano-structure) brings us into a completely discrete regime • Resulted effect – a possible platform to manipulate single electron to realize various functionalities.e.g. e. interaction between the excitation quantization and the quantized eigen states (i...

for QD lasers. such as electron-hole recombination.Optical Properties • Discretization of energy levels increases the density of states • Resulted effect – enhances narrow band correlation. the threshold will be greatly reduced 23 .

former keeps the electrons in coherence.Optical Properties • Discretization of energy levels reduces broadband correlation • Resulted effect – reduces relaxation and dephasing.. QD detector sensitivity. latter reduces device performance temperature dependence (e. which is very much needed in quantum computing. QD laser threshold and efficiency.) 24 . reduces temperature dependence.g. etc.

Optical Properties • Quantized energy level dependence on size (geometric dimension) • Resulted effect – tuning of optical gain/absorption spectrum 25 .

. optical modulators or directly modulated lasers) 26 .g. a very much needed property in dynamic application of optoelectronic devices (e.Optical Properties • Discretization of energy levels leads to zero dispersion at the gain peak • Resulted effect – reduces chirp.

Applications • Light source .QD lasers. QC (Quantum Cascade) lasers • Light detector – QDIP (Quantum Dot Infrared Photo-detector) • Electromagnetic induced transparency (EIT) – to obtain transparent highly dispersive materials • Ballistic electron devices • Tunneling electron devices • Single electron devices 27 .

Kirk and M. ISBN-0070856435 • On nano-material electronic properties – W. “Optics of Quantum Dots and Wires”. ISBN-0124096603 • On nano-material and device fabrication techniques – T. Schiff. Steiner. Springer. 2005. McGraw Hill.References • Solid State Physics – C. ISBN: 978-0-471-41526-8 • Basic Quantum Mechanics – L. ISBN1580537618 28 . 2004. “Quantum Mechanics”. Artech House. 1967. “Nanostructures and Mesoscopic Systems”. ISBN-1580537510 • On nano-material optical properties – G. Kittel. Artech House. Reed. 3rd Edition. Bryant and G. 1991. “Introduction to Solid State Physics”. Academic Press. “Semiconductor Nanostructures for Optoelectronic Applications”. Solomon.

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