Magneto-optical properties of self-assembled III-V semiconductor nanostructures

N.A.J.M. Kleemans

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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In this thesis the optical properties of self-assembled III-V semiconductor nanostructures are investigated by analyzing the photoluminescence (PL) with and without an external magnetic field. The studied PL is a result of the recombination of electrons and holes confined in the nanostructures. In this thesis we directly correlate the size, shape, composition and topology of the nanostructures to their magnetic and optical properties and study the influence of an electrical contact in the close proximity of these nanostructures. One of the most interesting nanostructures are quantum dots (QDs), which are able to confine charge carriers in all three dimensions. Both the exciton g-factor gex and the exciton diamagnetic coefficient ad determine the behavior of excitons confined in a QD in a magnetic field and provide further insight in the energy level structure of these nanostructures. The exciton Zeeman splitting is proportional to gex and is a result of the different spin configurations of the electron and hole, which constitute the exciton. The diamagnetic shift is a result of the additional confinement provided by the magnetic field B, and is proportional adB2, where ad scales with the lateral extend of the quantum dot. PL experiments on a large ensemble of InAs/GaAs QDs, as well as on individual InAs/GaAs QDs are performed. For these dots ad and gex have been determined. Importantly, there is a trend between gex and the emission energy E0: for larger emission energy a more negative value of the exciton g-factor is observed. From the power and temperature dependence of the ensemble PL it is shown that the sample consists of QDs with different height, where the highest dots correspond to the smallest emission energies. Moreover, QDs with larger ad have a more positive g-factor. From this it is inferred that quantum dots with an overall larger size have a less negative value of gex. By implementing the QDs in a Schottky device in close proximity to an electrical contact it is possible to tune the charged state of the exciton in the dot. We show that charge-tunable InAs/GaAs quantum dots also allow to study many-body interactions between a localized QD state and a Fermi sea of electrons. As a result of these many-body interactions new optical transitions are observed in the PL spectra. The same chargetunable quantum dots are also investigated in a magnetic field. Instead of the positive diamagnetic shift observed for the majority of the quantum dots, two different types of negative diamagnetic shift are reported. The shallow character of our quantum dots causes a negative quadratic diamagnetic shift for the highly negatively charged exciton complexes in line with predictions for shallow quantum dots. The second type of negative diamagnetic shift is observed even for the neutral exciton and is strongly linearly dependent on the magnetic field. We also investigated quantum dots grown from different semiconductor materials. InAs/InP quantum dots are studied using AFM, X-STM, macro-PL and micro-PL. Macro PL and X-STM measurements show that the studied InAs/InP dots have a multimodal height distribution. Single quantum dot luminescence, carried out on a large number of dots, shows a strong correlation between exciton g-factor, diamagnetic coefficient and emission energy. In fact, the strong dependence of gex on the emission energy results in a sign change of the exciton g-factor. In correspondence with what we found on the InAs/GaAs QDs, we find that dots having a smaller overall size will have a more negative gex as compared to quantum dots of larger overall size. We also show that for several quantum dots the exciton g-factor is quenched. A theoretical model is used to calculate the effect of the quantum dot size on the g-factor. The model is both qualitatively and quantitatively in good agreement with the experimental obtained results. Nanostructures of a different topology are self-assembled InAs/GaAs quantum rings (QRs). Using magnetization measurements on a large ensemble of quantum rings we demonstrate the presence of the Aharonov-Bohm (AB) effect in these nanostructures. Moreover, a model based on the X-STM measurements on these nanostructures reproduces the magnetic field position of this oscillation. The optical properties of these QRs are investigated for magnetic fields up to 30T for a large ensemble of quantum rings and for individual rings. Although the excitonic AB effect is suppressed in these nanostructures, the ring character of our nanostructures gives rise to non-equidistant energy level splittings and into a magnetic field induced splitting of each excited state into two states in the ensemble PL. This is different to what has been observed in measurements on quantum dots. The calculations based on the same model show a qualitative agreement with the experimental data, and allow us to identify the different PL peaks. Furthermore, analyzing exciton lines with high resolution revealed an anomalous quadruplet splitting, which is different as the one reported for InAs/GaAs quantum dots. Although the origin of this splitting is still unclear, it is most likely related to the singlet to triplet transition of singly charged excitons. Finally the magneto-luminescence experiments on type II self-assembled InP/GaAs quantum dots are discussed. For these dots the hole is located outside the quantum dot, whereas the electron is confined inside the quantum dot creating a type II exciton. The magneto-luminescence of the ensemble of dots did not resolve any oscillatory behavior related to the AB effect in contrast to experiments reported on the same sample. Decisive magneto-luminescence measurements on individual dots did also not reveal any AB related phenomena within the experimental resolution of 40 µeV. These results show the necessity to study subtle magneto-luminescence properties of nanostructures on an individual dot level, rather than on a large ensemble of dots.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Applied Physics
  • Koenraad, Paul M., Promotor
  • Silov, Andrei Y., Copromotor
  • Govorov, A.O., Copromotor, External person
Award date9 Feb 2010
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-386-2129-6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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