Interface-engineering enhanced light emission from Si/Ge quantum dots
Author(s): Ji, ZM (Ji, Zhi-Min); Luo, JW (Luo, Jun-Wei); Li, SS (Li, Shu-Shen)
Source: NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS Volume: 22 Issue: 9 Article Number: 093037 DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/abafe7 Published: SEP 2020
Abstract: Si quantum dots (QDs) have a significant improvement in luminous efficiency compared with bulk Si, achieved by alleviating the forbiddance of no-phonon Gamma-Gamma radiative transition determined by the law of momentum conservation. Two divergent mechanisms have been proposed to account for the breakdown of momentum conservation in Si QDs, one is due to the space-confinement-induced spread ofk-space wave functions associated with Heisenberg uncertainty principle Delta r center dot Delta k > 1/2, and the other is due to the interface-effect-induced intervalley mixing between indirect and direct bandgap states. Both mechanisms could cause a small overlap of the electron and hole wave functions ink-space and make vertical transitions allowed, which leads to the zero-phonon light emission. In this work, we unravel the hierarchical relationship between these two primary mechanisms in the process of zero-phonon light emission from indirect bandgap QDs, by performing semiempirical pseudopotential calculation including many-body interaction on the room-temperature luminescent properties of a series of Si, Ge, and Ge/Si core/shell QDs. We show that the space confinement mechanism is dominant in both Si and Ge indirect bandgap QDs, and the interface-induced intervalley coupling mechanism plays a minor role. While in Ge/Si core/shell QDs, the interface-induced intervalley coupling mechanism has a more pronounced contribution to enhanced light emission, implying one can further enhance light emission via engineering interface based on the intervalley coupling mechanism. Given this, we further engineer the Ge QD interface by bringing four motifs of Si/Ge multiple layers from previously inverse designed Si/Ge superlattices and core/shell nanowires for light emitters. We show that two out of four motifs always give rise to two orders of magnitude enhancement in light emission relative to the Ge and Si QDs. We demonstrate that the interface engineering can enhance light emission in indirect bandgap QDs substantially and regulate the intervalley coupling mechanism as the primary factor over the space confinement mechanism in breaking the momentum conservation law.
Accession Number: WOS:000573298600001