Spatial Inhomogeneity of Luminescence in III-Nitride Compounds
Keywords:III-nitrides, InGaN, AlGaN, spatially-resolved luminescence, microphotoluminescence, confocal microscopy, scanning near field optical microscopy, cathodoluminescence
AbstractThe band gap of III-nitride semiconductors cover a wide range from 0.77 eV (band gap of InN) to 6.2 eV (AlN). Thus, light-emitting diodes emitting from infrared to deep into ultraviolet can be fabricated using ternary III-nitrides InGaN, AlGaN, and AlInN with appropriate composition. However, growing the compounds with any desirable composition often encounters substantial difficulties due to phase separation, structural quality of the epilayers, impurities and extended defects, etc. The spatial inhomogeneity of emission properties in III-nitride epilayers and quantum well structures provides an informative insight into carrier migration, localization, and recombination and is important for development of light-emitting devices. In this paper, we introduce the techniques for luminescence study with spatial resolution (microphotoluminescence, confocal microscopy, scanning near field optical microscopy and cathodoluminescence), discuss material properties leading to emission inhomogeneity and review results on spatial distribution of photoluminescence and cathodoluminescence in InGaN and AlGaN, which are the most important ternary III-nitride compounds for application in light-emitting devices.
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