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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Complexity in light: tuning quantum well emission through correlative microscopy

In a study published in Nano Letters, researchers demonstrated an advanced characterization toolkit for the investigation of semiconductor nanostructures.

Scientific Achievement

Nanoscale variations of crystal polytype, strain and com-position in ternary (In,Ga)As quantum well nanostructures locally shift cathodoluminescence emission energy.

Significance and Impact

Crystal structure was found to have a role in tuning quantum well emission. Combining electron, X-ray and atom probe microscopy demonstrates a unique route for advanced nanoscale characterization of photonic heterostructures.

Research Details

  • Cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging revealed a blue-shift of emission energy in core-shell quantum well nanowires.
  • This shift was correlated with a local shift of indium revealed by atom probe tomography at Northwestern, and the presence of wurtzite/zincblende polytypes and local lattice strain were identified by the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM)/Advanced Photon Source (APS) Hard X-ray Nanoprobe.

Work was performed in part at CNM and APS.


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About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://​sci​ence​.osti​.gov/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​-​a​t​-​a​-​G​lance.

About the Advanced Photon Source
This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.