Semiconductor quantum dots are often described as "artificial atoms": They are small nanometre-sized structures in which electrons only are allowed to exist at certain discrete levels due to size quantization, thus allowing the engineering of fundamental properties such as the coupling to light. The main property of semiconductor quantum dots compared to bulk material or even quantum well structures is the discrete nature of the allowed states, which means that inversion of the medium can be obtained for very low electron densities. This has led to the fabrication of quantum dot lasers with record-low threshold currents and amplifiers with record-high power levels. In this tutorial we will review the basic properties of quantum dots, emphasizing the properties which are important for laser and amplifier applications, as well as devices for all-optical signal processing. The high-speed properties of quantum dot based devices are strongly influenced by the carrier dynamics in the dots, which will be discussed. Finally we will outline new fields of applications that may emerge, including devices for controlling the speed of light.
|Title of host publication||Optics East Technical Abstract Summaries (CD-Rom)|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Event||Optics East: Active and Passive Optical Components for WDM Communications V - Boston, MA, United States|
Duration: 1 Oct 2006 → 4 Oct 2006
|Period||01/10/2006 → 04/10/2006|