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The Story of Semiconductors$
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John W. Orton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559107.001.0001

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Low dimensional structures

Low dimensional structures

Chapter:
(p.213) Chapter 6 Low dimensional structures
Source:
The Story of Semiconductors
Author(s):

John Orton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559107.003.0006

During the 1970s, III-V compounds and epitaxial crystal growth provided the basis for low dimensional structures (or nanostructures). The best known example is a GaAs quantum well within AlGaAs barriers, electrons, and holes being confined in well defined energy levels that determine the optical properties. Quantum wires and dots are also described. The quantum well laser and the vertical cavity laser (VCSEL) show considerable advantages over their heterostructure predecessor. Another exciting development was that of the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at an interface between semiconductors with different band gaps. By doping only the wide gap material so as to separate the doping atoms from the resulting free electrons, ionised impurity scattering can be minimised and extremely high electron mobilities achieved. Such samples led to the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect and to high mobility FETs (HEMTs) for microwave applications. Mesoscopic systems and heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) are also described.

Keywords:   low dimensional structure, nanostructure, quantum well, quantum dot, two-dimensional electron gas, fractional quantum Hall effect, laser, HEMT, heterojunction bipolar transistors, mesoscopic system

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