Photoluminescence of High Quality Epitaxial p-type InN
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Indium nitride (InN) is a group III-V semiconductor that is part of the Al,Ga:N family. It is an infrared bandgap semiconductor with great potential for use in photovoltaic applications. Being an intrinsically n-type material, p-type doping is naturally one of the ongoing hot topics in InN research, which is of interest in the fabrication of pn junctions.
Plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) grown Mg doped InN thin film was investigated via systematic optical characterizations. Photoluminescence (PL) measurement has been a key part of the research, exhibiting a wide range of spectral lines between 0.54 and 0.67 eV. In a critical Mg concentration range of 2.6×10¹⁷ and 1.0×10¹⁸ cm⁻³, a strong luminescence line at 0.6 eV has been associated with a Mg-related deep acceptor. Correspondingly, a variable magnetic field Hall (VFH) effect measurement has successfully probed a buried hole-mediated conductivity path underneath a surface electron accumulation layer. This specific doping range also led to a manifestation of a “true” band-to-band transition at 0.67 eV. Such an observation has not previously been reported for InN and in our case this assignment is convincingly supported by the quadratic characteristic of the excitation power law. This established that a rigorous control of Mg flux can sufficiently compensate the background electron concentration of InN via the substitutional incorporation on In sites (Mg_In). However, introduction of donor-like complexes somewhat suppressed this process if too much Mg or even alternative dopants such as Zn and Mn were used. Also distinctively observed was a strongly quenched PL quantum efficiency from heavily doped films, where time-resolved differential transmission (TRDT) measurement showed a biexponential carrier lifetime decay curve owing to the onset of Auger recombination processes. These observations certainly have profound implications for devices and beyond.