Publication: Self-assembled quantum dots in a nanowire system for quantum photonics (Nature Materials)

By M. Heiss et al.:
Quantum dots embedded within nanowires represent one of the most promising technologies for applications in quantum photonics. Whereas the top-down fabrication of such structures remains a technological challenge, their bottom-up fabrication through self-assembly is a potentially more powerful strategy. However, present approaches often yield quantum dots with large optical linewidths, making reproducibility of their physical properties difficult. We present a versatile quantum-dot-in-nanowire system that reproducibly self-assembles in core–shell GaAs/AlGaAs nanowires. The quantum dots form at the apex of a GaAs/AlGaAs interface, are highly stable, and can be positioned with nanometre precision relative to the nanowire centre. Unusually, their emission is blue-shifted relative to the lowest energy continuum states of the GaAs core. Large-scale electronic structure calculations show that the origin of the optical transitions lies in quantum confinement due to Al-rich barriers. By emitting in the red and self-assembling on silicon substrates, these quantum dots could therefore become building blocks for solid-state lighting devices and third-generation solar cells.

Publication: The shear mode of multilayer graphene (Nature Materials)

By P. H. Tan et al.:
The quest for materials capable of realizing the next generation of electronic and photonic devices continues to fuel research on the electronic, optical and vibrational properties of graphene. Few-layer graphene (FLG) flakes with less than ten layers each show a distinctive band structure. Thus, there is an increasing interest in the physics and applications of FLGs. Raman spectroscopy is one of the most useful and versatile tools to probe graphene samples. Here, we uncover the interlayer shear mode of FLGs, ranging from bilayer graphene (BLG) to bulk graphite, and suggest that the corresponding Raman peak measures the interlayer coupling. This peak scales from similar to 43 cm(-1) in bulk graphite to similar to 31 cm(-1) in BLG. Its low energy makes it sensitive to near-Dirac point quasiparticles. Similar shear modes are expected in all layered materials, providing a direct probe of interlayer interactions.

Publication: Revised self-consistent continuum solvation in electronic-structure calculations

By O. Andreussi et al.:
The solvation model proposed by Fattebert and Gygi [J. Comput. Chem. 23, 662 (2002)] and Scherlis et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 124, 074103 (2006)] is reformulated, overcoming some of the numerical limitations encountered and extending its range of applicability. We first recast the problem in terms of induced polarization charges that act as a direct mapping of the self-consistent continuum dielectric; this allows to define a functional form for the dielectric that is well behaved both in the high-density region of the nuclear charges and in the low-density region where the electronic wavefunctions decay into the solvent. Second, we outline an iterative procedure to solve the Poisson equation for the quantum fragment embedded in the solvent that does not require multigrid algorithms, is trivially parallel, and can be applied to any Bravais crystallographic system. Last, we capture some of the non-electrostatic or cavitation terms via a combined use of the quantum volume and quantum surface [M. Cococcioni, F. Mauri, G. Ceder, and N. Marzari, Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 145501 (2005)] of the solute. The resulting self-consistent continuum solvation model provides a very effective and compact fit of computational and experimental data, whereby the static dielectric constant of the solvent and one parameter allow to fit the electrostatic energy provided by the polarizable continuum model with a mean absolute error of 0.3 kcal/mol on a set of 240 neutral solutes. Two parameters allow to fit experimental solvation energies on the same set with a mean absolute error of 1.3 kcal/mol. A detailed analysis of these results, broken down along different classes of chemical compounds, shows that several classes of organic compounds display very high accuracy, with solvation energies in error of 0.3-0.4 kcal/mol, whereby larger discrepancies are mostly limited to self-dissociating species and strong hydrogen-bond-forming compounds.

Publication: Where is electronic structure going ?

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