The optical orientation (optical pumping) of excitons and carriers in semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) is discussed. A brief review of main experimental studies on optical pumping is given. We discuss different manifestations of size quantization on spin phenomena— enhancement of the electron–hole exchange interaction, hyperfine interaction between electron and nuclear spins, etc. The peculiarities of spin polarization in doped QDs are considered. It is demonstrated that the Hanle effect is a powerful technique for the study of spin dynamics.
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