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Atomically precise quantum dots of mesoscopic size have been fabricated in the gallium arsenide–aluminum gallium arsenide material system by cleaved edge overgrowth, with a high degree of control over shape, composition, and position. The formation of bonding and antibonding states between two such “artificial atoms” was studied as a function of quantum dot separation by microscopic photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. The coupling strength within these “artificial molecules” is characterized by a systematic dependence of the separation of the bonding and antibonding levels, and of the PL linewidth, on the “interatomic” distance. This model system opens new insights into the physics of coupled quantum objects.
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