Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Merano, M. and Sonderegger, S. and Crottini, A. and Collin, S. and Renucci, P. and Pelucchi, E. and Malko, A. and Baier, M. H. and Kapon, E. and Deveaud, B. and Ganiere, J. D.
Probing carrier dynamics in nanostructures by picosecond cathodoluminescence
Optional Fields
Picosecond and femtosecond spectroscopy allow the detailed study of carrier dynamics in nanostructured materials(1). In such experiments, a laser pulse normally excites several nanostructures at once. However, spectroscopic information may also be acquired using pulses from an electron beam in a modern electron microscope, exploiting a phenomenon called cathodoluminescence. This approach offers several advantages. The multimode imaging capabilities of the electron microscope enable the correlation of optical properties (via cathodoluminescence) with surface morphology (secondary electron mode) at the nanometre scale(2). The broad energy range of the electrons can excite wide-bandgap materials, such as diamond- or gallium-nitride-based structures that are not easily excited by conventional optical means. But perhaps most intriguingly, the small beam can probe a single selected nanostructure. Here we apply an original time-resolved cathodoluminescence set-up to describe carrier dynamics within single gallium-arsenide-based pyramidal nanostructures(3) with a time resolution of 10 picoseconds and a spatial resolution of 50 nanometres. The behaviour of such charge carriers could be useful for evaluating elementary components in quantum computers(4,5), optical quantum gates6 or single photon sources(7-9) for quantum cryptography(10).
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