Effects of excitation density on cathodoluminescence from GaN

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Journal Article
Applied Physics Letters, 2001, 79 (14), pp. 2154 - 2156
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Wurtzite GaN epilayers are studied by cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy. Results show that the intensities of donor-acceptor pair (DAP) and yellow luminescence (YL) peaks sublinearly depend on excitation density, presumably, due to saturation effects. The intensity of near-gap emission, however, exhibits a superlinear dependence on electron-beam excitation. In contrast to photoluminescence measurements, CL studies of GaN are usually performed in a regime with a strongly nonlinear dependence of luminescence intensities on excitation due to a large difference in carrier generation rates for these two techniques. As a result, the ratios of near-gap to YL and DAP emission intensities strongly depend on electron-beam current. Moreover, electron-beam spot size (i.e., beam focusing) dramatically affects CL intensity. An understanding of such saturation effects is necessary for a correct interpretation of CL spectra from GaN. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.
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