Stimulated emission and optical gain in ZnO epilayers grown by plasma-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy with buffers

Chen, Yefan; Tuan, N. T.; Segawa, Yusaburo; Ko, Hang-ju; Hong, Soon-ku; Yao, Takafumi
March 2001
Applied Physics Letters;3/12/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 11, p1469
Academic Journal
We report the results of an experimental investigation on lasing mechanisms in optically pumped ZnO epilayers at room temperature. High-quality ZnO epilayers grown on sapphire by plasma-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy employing an MgO buffer were used. Free exciton emissions and their phonon replicas dominate the photoluminescence from low excited samples. Inelastic exciton-exciton scattering contributes to the mechanism of stimulated emission mainly at intermediate excitation. By using the variable stripe length method, we measured the near threshold optical gain spectrum of the ZnO epilayers. Different from the interband transition governed mechanisms, exciton-exciton scattering gives rise to a nearly symmetric gain spectrum with the peak at 3.17 eV. The electron-hole plasma emerges to contribute to the optical gain when excitation exceeds 220 kW/cm2. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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