Mechanism of Photoluminescence Quenching of InGaAs/GaAs Quantum Dots Resulting from Nanoprobe Indentation
The low-temperature (10 K) photoluminescence (PL) of self-assembled InGaAs/GaAs quantum dots (QDs) was measured under the elastic indentation of a flat cylindrical nanoprobe that generates localized strain fields around itself. As the indentation force increases, the intensity of the PL fine peak from a single QD firstly increases, followed by a decrease, and is finally quenched. The observed force at which a PL peak disappears, i.e., the quenching force varies from QD to QD. This variation is ascribed to the diversely distributed strain fields in and around each QD and therefore can be related to the QD location with respect to the nanoprobe center. In order to clarify the mechanism of PL quenching, a numerical simulation of the strain distribution is carried out by a 3-dimensional finite element method. The modification of the energy band structure resulting from strain is then calculated based on the deformation potential theory. We concluded that the PL quenching observed experimentally can be attributed to the electron-repulsion resulting from the strain-induced potential gradient. Based on this mechanism, an indentation-induced shift of the electron-potential in bulk GaAs, at which the PL from QDs is quenched, was deduced to be 43.5–133.5 meV.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 2011
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