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Low-temperature epitaxial growth of Si–Ge heterostructures opens possibilities for synthesizing very small and abrupt low-dimensional structures due to the low adatom surface mobilities. We present photoluminescence from Ge quantum structures grown by molecular-beam epitaxy at low temperatures which reveals a transition from two-dimensional to three-dimensional growth. Phononless radiative recombination is observed from 〈105〉 faceted Ge quantum dots with height of approximately 0.9 nm and lateral width of 9 nm. Postgrowth annealing reveals a systematic blueshift of the Ge quantum dot’s luminescence and a reduction in nonradiative recombination channels. With increasing annealing temperatures Si–Ge intermixing smears out the three-dimensional carrier localization around the dot. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.