Crystalfield symmetries of luminescent Eu3+ centers in GaN: the importance of the 5D0 to 7F1 transition

K. P. O'Donnell, P. R. Edwards, M. Yamaga, K. Lorenz, M. J. Kappers, M. Boćkowski

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28 Citations (Scopus)
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Eu-doped GaN is a promising material with potential application not only in optoelectronics but also in magneto-optical and quantum optical devices ‘beyond the light emitting diode’. Its interesting spectroscopy is unfortunately complicated by spectral overlaps due to ‘site multiplicity’, the existence in a given sample of multiple composite centers in which Eu ions associate with intrinsic or extrinsic defects. We show here that elementary crystalfield analysis of the 5D0 to 7F1 transition can critically distinguish such sites. Hence, we find that the center involved in the hysteretic photochromic switching (HPS) observed in GaN(Mg):Eu, proposed as the basis of a new solid state qubit material, is not in fact Eu1, as previously reported, but a related defect, Eu1(Mg). Furthermore, the decomposition of the crystalfield distortions of Eu0, Eu1(Mg) and Eu1 into axial and non-axial components strongly suggests reasonable microscopic models for the defects themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Article number022102
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2016


  • crystal defects
  • III-V semiconductors
  • visible spectra
  • rare earth ions
  • emission spectra


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