Impact of alloy fluctuations and Coulomb effects on the electronic and optical properties of c-plane GaN/AlGaN quantum wells

A. A. Roble, S. K. Patra, F. Massabuau, M. Frentrup, M. A. Leontiadou, P. Dawson, M. J. Kappers, R. A. Oliver, D. M. Graham, S. Schulz

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We report on a combined theoretical and experimental study of the impact of alloy fluctuations and Coulomb effects on the electronic and optical properties ofc-plane GaN/AlGaN multi-quantum well systems. The presence of carrier localization effects in this system was demonstrated by experimental observations, such as the "S-shape" temperature dependence of the photoluminescence (PL) peak energy, and non-exponential PL decay curves that varied across the PL spectra at 10 K. A three-dimensional modified continuum model, coupled with a self-consistent Hartree scheme, was employed to gain insight into the electronic and optical properties of the experimentally studied c-plane GaN/AlGaN quantum wells. This model confirmedthe existence of strong hole localization arising from the combined effects of the built-in polarization field along the growth direction and the alloy fluctuations at the quantum well/barrier interface. However, for electrons these localization effects are less pronounced in comparison to the holes. Furthermore, our calculations show that the attractive Coulomb interaction between electron and hole results in exciton localization. This behavior is in contrast to the picture of independently localized electrons and holes, often used to explain the radiative recombination process in c-plane InGaN/GaN quantum well systems
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Oct 2019


  • photoluminescence
  • GaN/AlGaN quantum wells

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