Photoluminescence enhancement by deterministically site-controlled, vertically stacked SiGe quantum dots
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The Si/SiGe heterosystem would be ideally suited for the realization of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible integrated light sources, but the indirect band gap, exacerbated by a type-II band offset, makes it challenging to achieve efficient light emission. We address this problem by strain engineering in ordered arrays of vertically close-stacked SiGe quantum dot (QD) pairs. The strain induced by the respective lower QD creates a preferential nucleation site for the upper one and strains the upper QD as well as the Si cap above it. Electrons are confined in the strain pockets in the Si cap, which leads to an enhanced wave function overlap with the heavy holes near the upper QD?s apex. With a thickness of the Si spacer between the stacked QDs below 5 nm, we separated the functions of the two QDs: The role of the lower one is that of a pure stressor, whereas only the upper QD facilitates radiative recombination of QD-bound excitons. We report on the design and strain engineering of the QD pairs via strain-dependent Schrödinger-Poisson simulations, their implementation by molecular beam epitaxy, and a comprehensive study of their structural and optical properties in comparison with those of single-layer SiGe QD arrays. We find that the double QD arrangement shifts the thermal quenching of the photoluminescence signal at higher temperatures. Moreover, detrimental light emission from the QD-related wetting layers is suppressed in the double-QD configuration.