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Reversible Modulation of Spontaneous Emission by Strain in Silicon Nanowires

By Daryoush Shiri, Amit Verma, C. R. Selvakumar and M. P. Anantram

Abstract

We computationally study the effect of uniaxial strain in modulating the spontaneous emission of photons in silicon nanowires. Our main finding is that a one to two orders of magnitude change in spontaneous emission time occurs due to two distinct mechanisms: (A) Change in wave function symmetry, where within the direct bandgap regime, strain changes the symmetry of wave functions, which in turn leads to a large change of optical dipole matrix element. (B) Direct to indirect bandgap transition which makes the spontaneous photon emission to be of a slow second order process mediated by phonons. This feature uniquely occurs in silicon nanowires while in bulk silicon there is no change of optical properties under any reasonable amount of strain. These results promise new applications of silicon nanowires as optoelectronic devices including a mechanism for lasing. Our results are verifiable using existing experimental techniques of applying strain to nanowires

Topics: Article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3375500
Provided by: PubMed Central

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