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Quantum Dots: Photon Interaction Applications. Brad Gussin John Romankiewicz 12/1/04. Semiconductor Structures. Bulk Crystal (3D)  3 Degrees of Freedom (x-, y-, and z-axis). Quantum Well (2D)  2 Degrees of Freedom (x-, and y-axis). Quantum Wire (1D) 

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quantum dots photon interaction applications

Quantum Dots: Photon Interaction Applications

Brad Gussin

John Romankiewicz

12/1/04

slide2

Semiconductor Structures

Bulk Crystal (3D) 

3 Degrees of Freedom (x-, y-, and z-axis)

Quantum Well (2D) 

2 Degrees of Freedom (x-, and y-axis)

Quantum Wire (1D) 

1 Degree of Freedom (x-axis)

Quantum Dot (0D) 

0 Degrees of Freedom

(electron is confined in all directions)

slide3

Structure vs. Energy

Quantum Dots are sometimes called “artificial atoms”

slide4

Infrared Photodetection QWIP

Quantum Well IP

Bulk Crystal

Intensity

Wavelength

Photons

+

-

CB

VB

slide5

QWIP Drawbacks

  • High Intensity / Low Temp
  • Polarization scatter grating
      • Detector only works when photon hits semiconductor perpendicularly to the two unconfined axis

Grating

slide6

Quantum Dots

(Structure and Formation)

Self-Assembly (a.k.a Stranski-Krastanow Method): Mismatched lattice constants cause surface tension which results in Qdot formation with surprisingly uniform characteristics.

GaAs  5.6533 Å InAs  6.0584 Å

slide7

QDIPs

  • 3D e- Confinement: Sharper wavelength discrimination
  • E = n / R2  E controlled by dimensional parameter R
  • No need for Polarization
  • “Photon Bottleneck” : e- stays excited for a longer time (i.e. less recombination), resulting in a more efficient detector and resistance to temperature.
  • Higher temperatures and lower intensity.
slide8

The Future of QDIPs

  • Self-assembly techniques still unstable: tune photodetection properties by manipulating the shape and size of Qdots
  • Possible Solutions:
  • Different Material Combinations
  • More precise control of parameters (T, pressure, physical setup)
  • Combine self-assembly with lithography and etching techniques
      • For example: create crevices or pre-etched holes to encourage qdot growth in specified positions.
  • * Dr. Bijan Movaghar estimates 5-10 years before commercially practical QDIPs are in use.
slide9

QDIP Applications

Increase detectivity  Increase number of applications

Medical

(Thermal Imaging)

Military

Weather

Astronomy: Infrared Image of the Milky Way

solar cell applications
Solar Cell Applications
  • Currently, quantum wells and quantum dots are being researched for use in solar cells.
  • Factors that affect solar cell efficiency:
    • Wavelength of light
    • Recombination
    • Temperature
    • Reflection
    • Electrical Resistance
slide11

On an I-V curve characterizing the output of a solar cell, the ratio of maximum power to the product of the open-circuit voltage and the short circuit current is the fill factor. The higher the fill factor, the “squarer” the shape of the I-V curve.

quantum well application
Quantum Well Application
  • Photocurrent and output voltage can be individually optimized
    • Absorption edge and spectral characteristics can be tailored by the width and depth of QWs.
  • In GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs p – i – n structure with inserted QWs, researchers have observed enhancement in the short-circuit current and thus efficiency in comparison with control samples that are identical except without the QWs.
quantum dot application
Quantum Dot Application
  • Have potential to improve efficiency
    • Reducing recombination
      • Channeling the electrons and holes through the coupling between aligned QD’s
      • Photon bottleneck
    • Increasing the amount of usable incident light
    • Can be used at higher temperatures
  • Drawbacks
    • Size is harder to control
      • Thus harder to control the light absorption spectrum
  • Solutions for quantum dot solar cells are similar to QDIP solutions
structure and energy diagram
Structure and Energy Diagram
  • P-type, intrinsic, n-type structure
  • Based on a self-organized InAs/GaAs system
  • Quantum dots used in active regions
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Qdot technology will help optimize the photon detection and photovoltaic industries by making devices more efficient and functionally effective.
  • Possible other areas for commercial development include use in the automobile or robotics industries
      • Detect object or humans in the vicinity of the device.
      • Power generation for device.
sources
Sources
  • Interview with Dr. Bijan Movaghar, visiting professor (November 19, 2004).
  • Aroutounian, V. et al. Journal of Applied Physics. Vol. 89, No. 4. February 15, 2001.
  • Razeghi, Manijeh. Fundamentals of Solid State Engineering. Kluwer: Boston. 2002.
  • Center For Quantum Devices. <http://cqd.ece.northwestern.edu/>
  • Quantum Dots Introduction <http://vortex.tn.tudelft.nl/grkouwen/qdotsite.html>