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Quantum Confinement Induced Strain in Quantum Dots

In the attached pre-print, we investigate quantum confinement induced strain in quantum dots. This paper has been written keeping in mind the condensed matter physics/quantum dot community (accepted for publication in Phy. Rev. B). Another manuscript, from a mechanics viewpoint, is still in progress. The main motivation of this work is that while the impact of mechanical strain on the electronic structure of quantum dots is well studied, the “reverse” effect remains relatively unexplored. Even in complete absence of external stress, for very small sizes (1-3 nm range), the electronic structure change due to quantum confinement may induce a strain in the quantum dot which in turn will further alter the electronic structure. Despite the limitations of an envelope function approach for small sizes, a multiband analytical model is developed to make explicit the qualitative features of this phenomenon with physical interpretation in terms of acoustic polarons. We quantitatively predict the induced strain due to quantum confinement and the polaron binding energy for the example cases of Si and GaAs. The Si polaron binding energy calculated from the developed model compares favorably with both our density functional and semi-empirical atomistic calculations.

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Henry Tan's picture

Very intereting paper.

Can your approach be applied to study the dislocations, or other defects, around the quantum dots, which may release the strain energy, thus mitigate the strain confinement?

Henry, the multi-band model we have developed can approximately handle defects as well. Density functional theory, in the form we have used, cannot. I am infact currently investigating reverse coupling effects arounds point and line defects.

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