Semiconductor Nanostructures for Flying q-bits and Green Photonics

(De Gruyter) – The discovery, development, and use of novel materials and technologies were decisive for the development of civilizations across the last ten thousand years. In the past, “new” materials were based on chemical engineering of novel compounds. Chemical composition changes of known materials and doping or the inclusion of known but rare materials change their properties.

The silicon age, as many call the 20th century, enabled storage and processing of data and information. This age started with the discovery and use of silicon – a rather new material – when measuring time in segments of thousands of years.

The “light age”, as many are calling the 21st century, is characterized by the advent of novel illumination, communication, and alternative energy technologies based to a large extent on compound semiconductor devices, efficiently emitting, modulating, amplifying, or absorbing photons. These devices and again Si-based ones present a basis for a sustainable society.

With the advent of nanomaterials, nanotechnologies, and nanodevices, we discover that size and shape are more than just another subject of researchers’ curiosity in ultra-small objects. Nanotechnologies enable us to modify the properties of materials, complex structures, and devices based upon them without changing their composition. An increasing number of the basic materials are nanostructures, like lasers based on quantum wells. They are omnipresent in so many consumer and communication systems, but without these, most users are realizing the importance of the nanostructures for functionality.

Breakthroughs in nanomaterials and nanoscience enable the development of novel photonic devices and systems ranging from the automotive sector, quantum cryptography to metropolitan area and access networks. Self-organization at surfaces in strained heterostructures drives the formation of quantum dots (QDs).

Embedding QDs in photonic and electronic devices enables novel functionalities, advanced energy efficient communication, cyber security, or lighting systems.

The author focuses on some of the first important achievements of QD embedded devices. The essential physics laws driving the self-organized growth of QDs are summarized. Then they focus on their absolutely unique electronic and optical properties before resorting to some of the most important photonic devices based on single or millions of QDs.

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Edited for Content and Length by Dr. Matthew A. Hood.

The  full article can be found at De Gruyter in the Open Access journal of Nanophotonics.            2017 IMPACT FACOR 6.57

DOI: 10.1515/nanoph-2018-0021

 

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