Matching Items (2)
- All Subjects: Cathodoluminescence
- All Subjects: Semiconductors--Spectra.
- Creators: Juday, Reid
- Creators: Liu, Hanxiao
- Status: Published
Optical properties of wurtzite semiconductors studied using cathodoluminescence imaging and spectroscopy
The work contained in this dissertation is focused on the optical properties of direct band gap semiconductors which crystallize in a wurtzite structure: more specifically, the III-nitrides and ZnO. By using cathodoluminescence spectroscopy, many of their properties have been investigated, including band gaps, defect energy levels, carrier lifetimes, strain states, exciton binding energies, and effects of electron irradiation on luminescence. Part of this work is focused on p-type Mg-doped GaN and InGaN. These materials are extremely important for the fabrication of visible light emitting diodes and diode lasers and their complex nature is currently not entirely understood. The luminescence of Mg-doped GaN films has been correlated with electrical and structural measurements in order to understand the behavior of hydrogen in the material. Deeply-bound excitons emitting near 3.37 and 3.42 eV are observed in films with a significant hydrogen concentration during cathodoluminescence at liquid helium temperatures. These radiative transitions are unstable during electron irradiation. Our observations suggest a hydrogen-related nature, as opposed to a previous assignment of stacking fault luminescence. The intensity of the 3.37 eV transition can be correlated with the electrical activation of the Mg acceptors. Next, the acceptor energy level of Mg in InGaN is shown to decrease significantly with an increase in the indium composition. This also corresponds to a decrease in the resistivity of these films. In addition, the hole concentration in multiple quantum well light emitting diode structures is much more uniform in the active region when Mg-doped InGaN (instead of Mg-doped GaN) is used. These results will help improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes, especially in the green/yellow color range. Also, the improved hole transport may prove to be important for the development of photovoltaic devices. Cathodoluminescence studies have also been performed on nanoindented ZnO crystals. Bulk, single crystal ZnO was indented using a sub-micron spherical diamond tip on various surface orientations. The resistance to deformation (the "hardness") of each surface orientation was measured, with the c-plane being the most resistive. This is due to the orientation of the easy glide planes, the c-planes, being positioned perpendicularly to the applied load. The a-plane oriented crystal is the least resistive to deformation. Cathodoluminescence imaging allows for the correlation of the luminescence with the regions located near the indentation. Sub-nanometer shifts in the band edge emission have been assigned to residual strain the crystals. The a- and m-plane oriented crystals show two-fold symmetry with regions of compressive and tensile strain located parallel and perpendicular to the ±c-directions, respectively. The c-plane oriented crystal shows six-fold symmetry with regions of tensile strain extending along the six equivalent a-directions.
This dissertation covers my doctoral research on the cathodoluminescence (CL) study of the optical properties of III-niride semiconductors.
The first part of this thesis focuses on the optical properties of Mg-doped gallium nitride (GaN:Mg) epitaxial films. GaN is an emerging material for power electronics, especially for high power and high frequency applications. Compared to traditional Si-based devices, GaN-based devices offer superior breakdown properties, faster switching speed, and reduced system size. Some of the current device designs involve lateral p-n junctions which require selective-area doping. Dopant distribution in the selectively-doped regions is a critical issue that can impact the device performance. While most studies on Mg doping in GaN have been reported for epitaxial grown on flat c-plane substrates, questions arise regarding the Mg doping efficiency and uniformity in selectively-doped regions, where growth on surfaces etched away from the exact c-plane orientation is involved. Characterization of doping concentration distribution in lateral structures using secondary ion mass spectroscopy lacks the required spatial resolution. In this work, visualization of acceptor distribution in GaN:Mg epilayers grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) was achieved at sub-micron scale using CL imaging. This was enabled by establishing a correlation among the luminescence characteristics, acceptor concentration, and electrical conductivity of GaN:Mg epilayers. Non-uniformity in acceptor distribution has been observed in epilayers grown on mesa structures and on miscut substrates. It is shown that non-basal-plane surfaces, such as mesa sidewalls and surface step clusters, promotes lateral growth along the GaN basal planes with a reduced Mg doping efficiency. The influence of surface morphology on the Mg doping efficiency in GaN has been studied.
The second part of this thesis focuses on the optical properties of InGaN for photovoltaic applications. The effects of thermal annealing and low energy electron beam irradiation (LEEBI) on the optical properties of MOCVD-grown In0.14Ga0.86N films were studied. A multi-fold increase in luminescence intensity was observed after 800 °C thermal annealing or LEEBI treatment. The mechanism leading to the luminescence intensity increase has been discussed. This study shows procedures that significantly improve the luminescence efficiency of InGaN, which is important for InGaN-based optoelectronic devices.