X-ray atomic mapping of quantum dots

Arka B. Dey, Milan K. Sanyal, Denis T. Keane, Gavin P. Campbell, Bo Hong Liu, Ian Farrer, David A. Ritchie, Michael J. Bedzyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a model-independent atomic-mapping technique for quantum dots (QDs) by combining Bragg reflection x-ray standing wave (XSW) and grazing incidence diffraction (GID) measurements. In this study, we choose GaAs capped InGaAs QDs/GaAs(001) as a model system to show the locations and arrangements of indium atoms within the QDs along various [hkl] directions. This technique directly reveals the actual amount of positional anisotropy and ordering fraction of indium atoms within the QDs by probing the (1¯11), (111), (311), (1¯31), (113), and (1¯13) crystallographic planes. We find that indium atoms are outwardly shifted along the [001] direction by small fractions of the lattice constant, 0.04aGaAs and 0.06aGaAs from Ga sites for 50- and 150-Å GaAs capped InGaAs QDs, respectively. We observe that an improved coherency factor of the indium atoms within the QDs by 45-60% along the [001] and [011] directions reduces the photoluminescence linewidth by 22%, thus making the QDs efficient for QD-laser and optoelectronic device applications. We also find that the position and ordering of In atoms along the (113) and (1¯13) planes are most sensitive to the thickness of the GaAs cap layer. Our XSW-based results are supported by numerical calculations using a QD-macroscopic structural model based on our GID study. We thus show that this atomic-mapping technique will be useful for studying various quantum structures and tuning their properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056002
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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