Advances in nanotechnology have produced structures a few molecular layers thick of crystalline semiconductors, and this has led to new challenges in the physics of solids. The semiconductors have been predominantly those of Group IV and Group III-V compounds, cubic with tetrahedral bonding. In particular, the confinement of electrons, resulting in the quantization of their motion, has produced novel electrical and optical properties and, as such, has defined the nomenclature as quantum wells, quantum wires, and quantum dots. The acoustic and optical waves of the lattice also suffer confinement, and the resultant change in their properties has to be taken into account in the treatment of the electron–phonon interaction. The electron–phonon interaction is central in determining both electrical and optical properties, so acquiring an understanding of the effect of confinement is of prime importance....
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