Enhanced Sequential Carrier Capture into Individual Quantum Dots and Quantum Posts Controlled by Surface Acoustic Waves

S. Völk, F. J. R. Schülein, F. Knall, D. Reuter, A. D. Wieck, T. A. Truong, H. Kim, P. M. Petroff, A. Wixforth, H. J. Krenner

Nano Letters 10, 3399-3407 (2010)

Individual self-assembled quantum dots and quantum posts are studied under the influence of a surface acoustic wave. In optical experiments we observe an acoustically induced switching of the occupancy of the nanostructures along with an overall increase of the emission intensity. For quantum posts, switching occurs continuously from predominantely charged excitons (dissimilar number of electrons and holes) to neutral excitons (same number of electrons and holes) and is independent of whether the surface acoustic wave amplitude is increased or decreased. For quantum dots, switching is nonmonotonic and shows a pronounced hysteresis on the amplitude sweep direction. Moreover, emission of positively charged and neutral excitons is observed at high surface acoustic wave amplitudes. These findings are explained by carrier trapping and localization in the thin and disordered two-dimensional wetting layer on top of which quantum dots nucleate. This limitation can be overcome for quantum posts where acoustically induced charge transport is highly efficient in a wide lateral matrix−quantum well.