Contributions from gallium vacancies and carbon-related defects to the “yellow luminescence” in GaN

Armitage, R.; Hong, William; Yang, Qing; Feick, H.; Gebauer, J.; Weber, E. R.; Hautakangas, S.; Saarinen, K.
May 2003
Applied Physics Letters;5/19/2003, Vol. 82 Issue 20, p3457
Academic Journal
Carbon-doped GaN layers grown by molecular-beam epitaxy are studied with photoluminescence and positron annihilation spectroscopy. Semi-insulating layers doped with > 10[sup 18] cm[sup -3] carbon show a strong luminescence band centered at ∼2.2 eV (yellow luminescence). The absolute intensity of the 2.2 eV band is compared with the gallium vacancy concentration determined by positron annihilation spectroscopy. The results indicate that a high concentration of gallium vacancies is not necessary for yellow luminescence and that there is in fact a causal relationship between carbon and the 2.2 eV band. Markedly different deep-level ionization energies are found for the high-temperature quenching of the 2.2 eV photoluminescence in carbon-doped and reference samples. We propose that while the model of Neugebauer and Van de Walle [Appl. Phys. Lett. 69, 503 (1996)] applies for GaN of low carbon concentration, a different yellow luminescence mechanism is involved when the interstitial carbon concentration is comparable to or exceeds the gallium vacancy concentration.


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