Low-temperature cathodoluminescence spectroscopy was used to investigate the luminescence efficiency of reactive ion etched quantum dots, varying in diameter from 200 μm down to 60 nm. The luminescence efficiency was found to be degraded both with decreasing nanostructure size and with increasing etch depth. A solution to the standard model for diffusion and recombination was applied to the data to determine the surface recombination velocity S. We found that for dots smaller than the diffusion length, the standard diffusion model becomes insensitive to the value of S and fails to predict that there is a size of dot in which the luminescence is completely extinguished. To understand qualitatively the luminescence degradation in etched nanostructures we describe a damage layer thickness ξ. The value of ξ determines the smallest quantum structure that will still emit light. We show that ξ increases with increasing etch depth and is therefore dependent on etching conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)