The ability to pattern quantum dots with high spatial positioning and uniform size is critical for the realization of future electronic devices with novel properties and performance that surpass present technology. This work discusses the exploration of an innovative nanopatterning technique to direct the self-assembly of nanostructures. The technique focuses on perturbing surface strain energy by nanoindentation in order to mechanically bias quantum dot nucleation. Growth of InAs quantum dots on nanoindent templates is performed using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). The effect of indent spacing and size on the patterned growth is investigated. The structural analysis of the quantum dots including spatial ordering, size, and shape are characterized by ex-situ atomic force microscopy (AFM). Results reveal that the indent patterns clearly bias nucleation with dot structures selectively growing on top of each indent. It is speculated that the biased nucleation is due to a combination of favorable surface strain attributed to subsurface dislocation strain fields and/or multi-atomic step formation at the indent sites, which leads to increased adatom diffusion on the patterned area.

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