Quantum dots are man-made nanocrystals of semiconducting materials. Their formation and assembly patterns play a central role in nanotechnology, and in particular in the optoelectronic properties of semiconductors. Changing the dots' size and shape gives rise to many applications that permeate our daily lives, such as the new Samsung QLED TV monitor that uses quantum dots to turn "light into perfect color"!
Quantum dots are obtained via the deposition of a crystalline overlayer (epitaxial film) on a crystalline substrate. When the thickness of the film reaches a critical value, the profile of the film becomes corrugated and islands (quantum dots) form. As the creation of quantum dots evolves with time, materials defects appear. Their modelling is of great interest in materials science since material properties, including rigidity and conductivity, can be strongly influenced by the presence of defects such as dislocations.
In this talk we will use methods from the calculus of variations and partial differential equations to model and mathematically analyze the onset of quantum dots, the regularity and evolution of their shapes, and the nucleation and motion of dislocations.