Skip to main content


  • Nano Review
  • Open Access

Multi-scale ordering of self-assembled InAs/GaAs(001) quantum dots

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1
Nanoscale Research Letters20061:1

  • Published:


Ordering phenomena related to the self-assembly of InAs quantum dots (QD) grown on GaAs(001) substrates are experimentally investigated on different length scales. On the shortest length-scale studied here, we examine the QD morphology and observe two types of QD shapes, i.e., pyramids and domes. Pyramids are elongated along the [110] directions and are bounded by {137} facets, while domes have a multi-facetted shape. By changing the growth rates, we are able to control the size and size homogeneity of freestanding QDs. QDs grown by using low growth rate are characterized by larger sizes and a narrower size distribution. The homogeneity of buried QDs is measured by photoluminescence spectroscopy and can be improved by low temperature overgrowth. The overgrowth induces the formation of nanostructures on the surface. The fabrication of self-assembled nanoholes, which are used as a template to induce short-range positioning of QDs, is also investigated. The growth of closely spaced QDs (QD molecules) containing 2–6 QDs per QD molecule is discussed. Finally, the long-range positioning of self-assembled QDs, which can be achieved by the growth on patterned substrates, is demonstrated. Lateral QD replication observed during growth of three-dimensional QD crystals is reported.


  • Self-assembly
  • Semiconductor quantum dots
  • Photoluminescence




The technical support of U. Waizmann, T. Reindl, and M. Riek is acknowledged. The authors would like to thank K. von Klitzing for continuous interest and support. This work was financially supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (contract number: 03N8711).

Authors’ Affiliations

Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Heisenbergstrasse 1, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany


  1. Bimberg D, Grundmann M, Ledentsov NN: Quantum Dot Heterostructures. Wiley, Chichester; 1999.Google Scholar
  2. Masumoto Y, Takagahara T: Semiconductor Quantum Dots: Physics, Spectroscopy and Applications. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg; 2002.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Gérard JM, Sermage B, Gayral B, Legrand B, Costard E, Thierry-Mieg V: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 1998, 81: 1110. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.81.1110View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Yoshie T, Scherer A, Hendrickson J, Khitrova G, Gibbs H. M, Rupper G, Ell C, Shchekin OB, Deppe DG: Nature. 2004, 432: 2000. 10.1038/nature03119View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  5. M. Sugawara, Semiconductors and Semimetals, vol. 60, ed. by R.K. Willardson, A.C. Beer (Academic Press, London 1999)Google Scholar
  6. Schmidt OG, Kiravittaya S, Nakamura Y, Heidemeyer H, Songmuang R, Müller C, Jin-Phillipp NY, Eberl K, Wawra H, Christiansen S, Gräbeldinger H, Schweizer H: Surf. Sci.. 2002, 514: 10. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38Xls12gsLk%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38Xls12gsLk%3D] 10.1016/S0039-6028(02)01601-1View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  7. Shchukin VA, Bimberg D: Rev. Mod. Phy.. 1999, 71: 1125. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXlvVaisbs%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXlvVaisbs%3D] 10.1103/RevModPhys.71.1125View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  8. Stangl J, Holý V, Bauer G: Rev. Mod. Phys.. 2004, 76: 725. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXkslKqug%3D%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXkslKqug%3D%3D] 10.1103/RevModPhys.76.725View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  9. Márquez J, Geelhaar L, Jacobi K: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2001, 78: 2309. 10.1063/1.1365101View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  10. Kaizu T, Yamaguchi K: Jpn. J. Appl. Phys.. 2003, 42: 4166. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXlsVOis7k%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXlsVOis7k%3D] 10.1143/JJAP.42.4166View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  11. Ruvimov S, Werner P, Scheerschmidt K, Gösele U, Heydenreich J, Richter U, Ledentsov NN, Grundmann M, Bimberg D, Ustinov VM, Egorov AY, Kop’ev PS, Alferov ZhI: Phys. Rev. B. 1995, 51: 14766. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXmtVKhs7o%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXmtVKhs7o%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevB.51.14766View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  12. Costantini G, Manzano C, Songmuang R, Schmidt OG, Kern K: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2003, 82: 3194. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXjs1Gksr0%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXjs1Gksr0%3D] 10.1063/1.1572534View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  13. Costantini G, Rastelli A, Manzano C, Songmuang R, Schmidt OG, Kern K, von Känel H: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2004, 85: 5673. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXhtVKqsLnO] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXhtVKqsLnO] 10.1063/1.1829164View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  14. Costantini G, Rastelli A, Manzano C, Acosta-Diaz P, Katsaros G, Songmuang R, Schmidt OG, von Känel H, Kern K: J. Cryst. Growth. 2005, 278: 38. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXjsVeltL4%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXjsVeltL4%3D] 10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2004.12.047View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  15. A. Rastelli, H. von Ka¨ nel, Surf. Sci. 532–535, 769 (2003)Google Scholar
  16. Mukhametzhanov I, Wei Z, Heitz R, Madhukar A: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1999, 75: 85. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXktVSit78%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXktVSit78%3D] 10.1063/1.124284View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  17. Medeiros-Ribeiro G, Bratkovski AM, Kamins TI, Ohlberg DAA, Williams RS: Science. 1998, 279: 353. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXmtlOiuw%3D%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXmtlOiuw%3D%3D] 10.1126/science.279.5349.353View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  18. Leonard D, Krishnamurthy M, Reaves CM, Denbaars SP, Petroff PM: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1993, 63: 3203. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXht1WrtbY%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXht1WrtbY%3D] 10.1063/1.110199View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  19. Songmuang R, Kiravittaya S, Sawadsaringkarn M, Panyakeow S, Schmidt OG: J. Cryst. Growth. 2003, 251: 166. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXitlWmu7c%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXitlWmu7c%3D] 10.1016/S0022-0248(02)02474-0View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  20. Nakata Y, Mukai K, Sugawara M, Ohtsubo K, Ishikawa H, Yokoyama N: J. Cryst. Growth. 2000, 208: 93. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXotVKls78%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXotVKls78%3D] 10.1016/S0022-0248(99)00466-2View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  21. Chen Y, Washburn J: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 1996, 77: 4046. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK28XmvVKiurw%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK28XmvVKiurw%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevLett.77.4046View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  22. Kiravittaya S, Nakamura Y, Schmidt OG: Physica E. 2002, 13: 224. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XksFOitLc%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XksFOitLc%3D] 10.1016/S1386-9477(01)00525-2View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  23. Songmuang R, Kiravittaya S, Schmidt OG: J. Cryst. Growth. 2003, 249: 416. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXpsFSnsg%3D%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXpsFSnsg%3D%3D] 10.1016/S0022-0248(02)02222-4View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  24. Rastelli A, Müller E, von Känel H: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2002, 80: 1438. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XhsVCntbs%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XhsVCntbs%3D] 10.1063/1.1453476View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  25. Nishi K, Saito H, Sugou S, Lee J-S: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1999, 74: 1111. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXhtF2ht7Y%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXhtF2ht7Y%3D] 10.1063/1.123459View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  26. Shiraishi K: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1992, 60: 1363. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK38XhvVWqu7g%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK38XhvVWqu7g%3D] 10.1063/1.107292View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  27. Xie Q, Chen P, Madhukar A: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1994, 65: 2051. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXntFejurc%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXntFejurc%3D] 10.1063/1.112790View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  28. Burkard G, Seelig G, Loss D: Phys. Rev. B. 2000, 62: 1581. 10.1103/PhysRevB.62.2581View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  29. Stievater TH, Li X, Steel DG, Gammon D, Katzer DS, Park D, Piermarocchi C, Sham LJ: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 2001, 87: 133603. COI number [1:STN:280:DC%2BD3MrjtlOrug%3D%3D] COI number [1:STN:280:DC%2BD3MrjtlOrug%3D%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevLett.87.133603View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  30. Zrenner A, Beham E, Stufler S, Findeis F, Bichler M, Abstreiter G: Nature. 2002, 418: 612. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XlvVyltL4%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XlvVyltL4%3D] 10.1038/nature00912View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  31. Li X, Wu Y, Steel D, Gammon D, Stievater TH, Katzer DS, Park D, Piermarocchi C, Sham LJ: Science. 2003, 301: 809. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXmtVGqsrc%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXmtVGqsrc%3D] 10.1126/science.1083800View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  32. Xie Q, Madhukar A, Chen P, Kobayashi NP: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 1995, 75: 2542. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXot1Oht7Y%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXot1Oht7Y%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevLett.75.2542View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  33. Schuler H, Jin-Phillipp NY, Phillipp F, Eberl K: Semicond. Sci. Technol.. 1998, 13: 1341. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXnsVWjsbw%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXnsVWjsbw%3D] 10.1088/0268-1242/13/11/001View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  34. Kiravittaya S, Songmuang R, Schmidt OG: J. Cryst. Growth. 2003, 251: 258. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXitlWls7g%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXitlWls7g%3D] 10.1016/S0022-0248(02)02475-2View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  35. L. Wang, A. Rastelli, S. Kiravittaya, R. Songmuang, O.G. Schmidt, B. Krause, T.H. Metzger, Nanoscale Res. Lett.(in press)Google Scholar
  36. Penev E, Stojković S, Kratzer P, Scheffler M: Phys. Rev. B. 2004, 69: 115335. 10.1103/PhysRevB.69.115335View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  37. Schmidt OG, Deneke Ch, Kiravittaya S, Songmuang R, Heidemeyer H, Nakamura Y, Zapf-Gottwick R, Müller C, Jin-Phillipp NY: IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.. 2002, 8: 1025. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XpsVOgtb0%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XpsVOgtb0%3D] 10.1109/JSTQE.2002.804235View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  38. Songmuang R, Kiravittaya S, Schmidt OG: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2003, 82: 2892. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXjtlSisrw%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXjtlSisrw%3D] 10.1063/1.1569992View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  39. Kiravittya S, Heidemeyer H, Schmidt OG: Physica E. 2004, 23: 253. 10.1016/j.physe.2003.10.013View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  40. Heidemeyer H, Müller C, Schmidt OG: J. Cryst. Growth. 2004, 261: 444. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXisFOrtw%3D%3D] COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXisFOrtw%3D%3D] 10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2003.09.030View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  41. Kiravittaya S, Schmidt OG: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2005, 86: 206101. 10.1063/1.1925771View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  42. Kiravittaya S, Heidemeyer H, Schmidt OG: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2005, 86: 263113. 10.1063/1.1954874View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© to the authors 2006