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Nanotechnology. 2008 Sep 10;19(36):365604. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/36/365604. Epub 2008 Jul 28.

Investigation of the fabrication mechanism of self-assembled GaAs quantum rings grown by droplet epitaxy.

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  • 1School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Republic of Singapore.


We have directly imaged the formation of a GaAs quantum ring (QR) using droplet epitaxy followed by annealing in arsenic ambient. Based on the atomic force micrograph measurement and the analysis of surface energy, we determine that the formation of self-assembled GaAs QRs is due to the gallium atom's diffusion and crystallization driven by the gradient of surface energy. The phenomenon that GaAs is etched by the gallium droplets is reported and analyzed. It has been demonstrated that the epitaxy layers, such as AlAs and InGaP, can be used as the etching stop layer and hence can be used to control the shape and height of the QRs.

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