Research Articles

Near-Field Spectroscopy of the Quantum Constituents of a Luminescent System

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Science  17 Jun 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5166, pp. 1740-1745
DOI: 10.1126/science.264.5166.1740


Luminescent centers with sharp (<0.07 millielectron volt), spectrally distinct emission lines were imaged in a GaAs/AIGaAs quantum well by means of low-temperature near-field scanning optical microscopy. Temperature, magnetic field, and linewidth measurements establish that these centers arise from excitons laterally localized at interface fluctuations. For sufficiently narrow wells, virtually all emission originates from such centers. Near-field microscopy/spectroscopy provides a means to access energies and homogeneous line widths for the individual eigenstates of these centers, and thus opens a rich area of physics involving quantum resolved systems.