Strain-induced lateral confinement of excitons in semiconductor quantum wells

There is a worldwide effort to achieve efficient and controlled confinement of carriers to "quantum wires" and "quantum dots". Use of these structures, of dimensionality lower than the by-now-familiar quantum wells, is expected to improve the performance of lasers and nonlinear optical devices. With varying degrees of success, teams of researchers have made quantum wires and dots in various ways—for example, by etching freestanding structures, by defining buried structures by ion implantation, and by growing them directly on patterned or unpatterned substrates.

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