On the interpretation of wave function overlaps in quantum dots

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

The spontaneous emission rate of excitons strongly confined in quantum dots (QDs) is proportional to the overlap integral of electron and hole envelope wave functions. A common and intuitive interpretation of this result is that the spontaneous emission rate is proportional to the probability that the electron and the hole are located at the same point or region in space, i.e., they must coincide spatially to recombine. Here, we show that this interpretation is not correct even loosely speaking. By general mathematical considerations we compare the envelope wave function overlap, the exchange overlap integral, and the probability of electrons and holes coinciding, and find that the frequency dependence of the envelope wave function overlap integral is very different from that expected from the common interpretation. We show that these theoretical considerations lead to predictions for measurements. We compare our qualitative predictions with recent measurements of the wave function overlap and find good agreement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIPPS physica status solidi (b)
Volume248
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)855-858
ISSN0370-1972
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • quantum dots
  • quantum optics
  • semiconductor physics

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