Document Type


Publication Date



Research into self-assembled semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) has helped advance numerous optoelectronic applications, ranging from solid-state lighting to photodetectors. By carefully controlling molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth parameters, we can readily tune QD light absorption and emission properties to access a broad portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although this field is now sufficiently mature that QDs are found in consumer electronics, research efforts continue to expand into new areas. By manipulating MBE growth conditions and exploring new combinations of materials, substrate orientations, and the sign of strain, a wealth of opportunities exist for synthesizing novel QD nanostructures with hitherto unavailable properties. As such, QDs are uniquely well positioned to make critical contributions to the development of future quantum technologies. In this tutorial, we summarize the history of self-assembled QDs, outline some examples of quantum optics applications based on QDs, discuss the science that explains the spontaneous formation of QDs, and provide recipes for successful QD growth by MBE for some of the most commonly used semiconductor materials systems. We hope that compiling this information in one place will be useful both for those new to QD self-assembly and for experienced researchers, ideally supporting the community’s efforts to continue pushing the boundaries of knowledge in this important field.

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in:

Sautter, K.E.; Vallejo, K.D.; and Simmonds, P.J. (2020). Strain-Driven Quantum Dot Self-Assembly by Molecular Beam Epitaxy. Journal of Applied Physics, 128(3), 031101.

and may be found at doi: 10.1063/5.0012066

Included in

Physics Commons