Crystal Phase Quantum Well Emission with Digital Control

S. Assali, J. Laehnemann, Thi Thu Trang Vu, K. D. Jöns, L. Gagliano, M. A. Verheijen, Nika Akopian, E. P. A. M. Bakkers, J. E. M. Haverkort

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One of the major challenges in the growth of quantum well and quantum dot heterostructures is the realization of atomically sharp interfaces. Nanowires provide a new opportunity to engineer the band structure as they facilitate the controlled switching of the crystal structure between the zinc-blende (ZB) and wurtzite (WZ) phases. Such a crystal phase switching results in the formation of crystal phase quantum wells (CPQWs) and quantum dots (CPQDs). For GaP CPQWs, the inherent electric fields due to the discontinuity of the spontaneous polarization at the WZ/ZB junctions lead to the confinement of both types of charge carriers at the opposite interfaces of the WZ/ZB/WZ structure. This confinement leads to a novel type of transition across a ZB flat plate barrier. Here, we show digital tuning of the visible emission of WZ/ZB/WZ CPQWs in a GaP nanowire by changing the thickness of the ZB barrier. The energy spacing between the sharp emission lines is uniform and is defined by the addition of single ZB monolayers. The controlled growth of identical quantum wells with atomically flat interfaces at predefined positions featuring digitally tunable discrete emission energies may provide a new route to further advance entangled photons in solid state quantum systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNano letters
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)6062-6068
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND) Attribution License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article, and creation of adaptations, all for non-commercial purposes.


  • Semiconductor nanowire
  • Crystal phase quantum well
  • Gallium phosphide
  • Photoluminescence
  • Spontaneous polarization


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