Nano Letters

Three-dimensional magneto-photoluminescence as a probe of the electronic properties of crystal-phase quantum disks in GaAs nanowires

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Crystal-phase engineering has emerged as a novel method of bandgap engineering, made feasible by the high surface-to-volume ratio of nanowires. There remains intense debate about the exact characteristics of the band structure of the novel crystal phases, such as wurtzite GaAs, obtained by this approach. We attack this problem via a low-temperature angle-dependent magneto-photoluminescence study of wurtzite/zinc-blende quantum disks in single GaAs nanowires. The exciton diamagnetic coefficient is proportional to the electron-hole correlation length, enabling a determination of the spatial extent of the exciton wave function in the plane and along the confinement axis of the crystal-phase quantum disks. Depending on the disk nature, the diamagnetic coefficient measured in Faraday geometry ranges between 25 and 75 μeV/T 2. For a given disk, the diamagnetic coefficient remains constant upon rotation of the magnetic field. Along with our envelope function calculation accounting for excitonic effects, we demonstrate that the electron effective mass in wurtzite GaAs quantum disks is heavy, mostly isotropic and results from mixing of the two lower-energy conduction bands with Γ7 and Γ8 symmetries. Finally, we discuss the implications of the results of the angle dependent magneto-luminescence for the likely symmetry of the exciton states. This work provides important insight in the band structure of wurtzite GaAs for future nanowire-based polytypic bandgap engineering. © 2013 American Chemical Society.