To design nanocrystal nanosystems, a theory for nanocrystals is needed whic
h can be applied to nanocrystals with atomic-scale variations in compositio
n, structure and shape. We present an empirical tight-binding theory for na
nocrystal heteronanostructures. Electronic structure and optical absorption
spectra are obtained for CdS/HgS/CdS and ZnS/CdS/ZnS quantum-dot quantum-w
ell barrier/well/barrier nanocrystals. Comparison with experiment shows tha
t tight-binding theory provides a good description of nanosystems with mono
layer variations in composition. Well/barrier and well/barrier/well nanocry
stal heteronanostructures also are modeled to illustrate state and energy-l
evel engineering in nanocrystal nanosystems. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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