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VOLUME 102 | ISSUE 9 | PAGE 678
Suppression of hole relaxation in small-sized Ge/Si quantum dots
We study the effect of quantum dot size on the mid-infrared photocurrent, photoconductive gain, and hole capture probability in ten-period p-type Ge/Si quantum dot heterostructures. The dot dimensions is varied by changing the Ge coverage during molecular beam epitaxy of Ge/Si(001) system in the Stranski-Krastanov growth mode while keeping the deposition temperature to be the same. A device with smaller dots is found to exhibit a lower capture probability and a higher photoconductive gain and photoresponse. The integrated responsivity in the mid-wave atmospheric window (λ =(3-5) μm) is improved by a factor of about 8 when the average in-plane dot dimension changes from 18 to 11 nm. The decrease of the dot size is expected to reduce the carrier relaxation rate due to phonon bottleneck by providing strong zero-dimensional quantum mechanical confinement.