The description of a quantum dot can be applied to a great variety of structures, some of which are defined by physical characteristics, such as self-assembled dots, and others of which are defined by the imposition of a self-consistent potential applied through confining gates. Indeed, the range of these different types of structures is sufficiently large that no single review can hope to cover them in anything like adequate detail. Yet the application of quantum dots has become important in an equally wide range of technical fields, for both optical and electronics applications. For that reason, we will try to outline the range of quantum dots that can occur, before we limit ourselves to a couple of examples that have proven useful for the investigation of new phenomena in transport physics.Perhaps the largest area of quantum dots (QDs) that has been of interest is self-assembled QDs. Here, we refer to the creation of a QD during a growth process or subsequent annealing process. The leading example is that of InAs or InGaAs QDs, which are created on a GaAs substrate via the Stransky-Krastanov (SK) growth process1.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(03)01027-7