Control of direct band gap emission of bulk germanium by mechanical tensile strain

El Kurdi, M.; Bertin, H.; Martincic, E.; de Kersauson, M.; Fishman, G.; Sauvage, S.; Bosseboeuf, A.; Boucaud, P.
January 2010
Applied Physics Letters;1/25/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 4, p041909
Academic Journal
We show that the recombination energy of the direct band gap photoluminescence (PL) of germanium can be controlled by an external mechanical stress. The stress is provided by an apparatus commonly used for bulge or blister test. An energy redshift up to 60 meV is demonstrated for the room temperature PL of a thin germanium membrane (125 nm wavelength shift from 1535 to 1660 nm). This PL shift is correlated with the in-plane tensile strain generated in the film. A biaxial tensile strain larger than 0.6% is achieved by this method. This mechanical strain allows to approach the direct band gap condition for germanium which is of tremendous importance to achieve lasing with this material.


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