Excitation pathways and efficiency of Eu ions in GaN by site-selective spectroscopy
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- Fleischman, Z., Munasinghe, C., Steckl, A.J. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2009) 97: 607. doi:10.1007/s00340-009-3605-x
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Using combined excitation emission spectroscopy, we performed a comparative study of europium ions in GaN in samples that have been in situ doped during interrupted growth epitaxy (IGE) or conventional molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) as well as samples that were grown using organometallic vapor phase epitaxy (OMVPE) and subsequently ion implanted with Eu ions. Through site-selective resonant excitation, we are able to unambiguously assign all major observed transitions to a combination of different incorporation sites and electron–phonon coupled transitions. We identified at least nine different incorporation sites of Eu ions in GaN and studied how these sites behave under different excitation conditions and how their relative number is modified by different growth and doping conditions. The coupling to phonons has also been studied for a series of AlxGa1−xN samples with x=0…1. We find that a main site most resembling an unperturbed Eu ion on Ga site is always dominant, while the minority sites are changing substantially in relative numbers and can occur in some samples fairly close in emission intensity to the main site. In terms of the excitation pathway after the creation of electron-hole pairs, we found three types of centers: (1) sites that are dominantly excited through shallow defect traps; (2) sites that are excited through a deep defect trap; (3) sites that cannot be excited at all including the majority of the main sites. We interpret this finding to indicate that the ion in this environment is not very efficient in trapping excitation and that the indirect excitation involving other traps depends on the ion/trap distance. Many of the main sites are far away from these traps and cannot be excited through this channel at all. The efficiency of excitation is highest for the deep traps, indicating that it would be desirable to enrich the respective site, as has been done with some success in the IGE grown samples.