Insight into the impact of atomic- and nano-scale indium distributions on the optical properties of InGaN/GaN quantum well structures grown on m-plane freestanding GaN substrates

Fengzai Tang, Tongtong Zhu, Wai-Yuan Fu, Fabrice Oehler, Siyuan Zhang, James T. Griffiths, Colin Humphreys, Tomas L. Martin, Paul A. J. Bagot, Michael P. Moody, Saroj Kanta Patra, Stefan Schulz, Philip Dawson, Stephen Church, Janet Jacobs, Rachel A. Oliver

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Abstract

We investigate the atomic scale structure of m-plane InGaN quantum wells grown on bulk m-plane GaN templates and reveal that as the indium content increases there is an increased tendency for nonrandom clustering of indium atoms to occur. Based on the atom probe tomography data used to reveal this clustering, we develop a k · p model that takes these features into account and links the observed nanostructure to the optical properties of the quantum wells. The calculations show that electrons and holes tend to colocalize at indium clusters. The transition energies between the electron and hole states are strongly affected by the shape and size of the clusters. Hence, clustering contributes to the very large line widths observed in the experimental low temperature photoluminescence spectra. Also, the emission from m-plane InGaN quantum wells is strongly linearly polarized. Clustering does not alter the theoretically predicted polarization properties, even when the shape of the cluster is strongly asymmetric. Overall, however, we show that the presence of clustering does impact the optical properties, illustrating the importance of careful characterization of the nanoscale structure of m-plane InGaN quantum wells and that atom probe tomography is a useful and important tool to address this problem.
Original languageEnglish
Article number225704
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume125
Issue number22
Early online date11 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2019

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