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Study of photo- and electro-luminescence related with Er3+ ions in GaN:Er

Maciej Wojdak 2Alain Braud 2Jean Louis Doualan 2Richard Moncorgé 2Tomasz Wojtowicz 3Pierre Ruterana 3Philippe MARIE 3Alban Colder 3Hock Min Ng 1

1. Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), 600 Mountain Avenue, Murray Hill, NJ 07974, United States
2. CIRIL-ENSICAEN, 6 Bld Maréchal Juin, Caen 14050, France
3. SIFCOM, UMR6176, CNRS-ENSICAEN, 6 Bld Maréchal Juin, Caen 14050, France


Semiconductors doped with erbium are attractive materials for optoelectronic devices due to the fact that characteristic Er3+ emissions meet technologically important spectral ranges, and semiconductor host provides the possibility of electrical excitation. Due to low thermal quenching of erbium luminescence, GaN:Er was recently extensively studied and devices based on this material were demonstrated. However, the optimization of the emission requires a better understanding of the excitation mechanisms.

We studied infrared and green erbium photoluminescence (PL) of MBE-grown GaN:Er with above- and below-band-gap excitation methods. In the latter case, the excitation wavelengths resonant and nonresonant with Er3+ transitions were also used. The PL spectra obtained in these conditions are similar, but the decay kinetics change with the excitation method. This enables us to distinguish emissions related with isolated and defect-coupled Er3+ centers.

To obtain the electroluminescence (EL) electrical contacts were made, and characteristic infrared and green emissions of Er3+ were observed. Electrical characteristics of this device and the dependence of its emission on the current and temperature were studied.

When electrical and optical excitations are combined, we observe that electroluminescence is altered by additional illumination. The below-band-gap illumination leads to a slight enhancement of EL, while with above-band-gap illumination very strong quenching of EL is observed. This indicates that both excitation mechanisms proceed via common steps within the excitation path, and as a result, they are perturbed by each other.


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Presentation: oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004, Symposium C, by Maciej Wojdak
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004

Submitted: 2004-04-28 15:19
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55