Low temperature carrier redistribution dynamics in InGaN/GaN quantum wells

T. J. Badcock, P. Dawson, M. J. Davies, M. J. Kappers, F. C.P. Massabuau, F. Oehler, R. A. Oliver, C. J. Humphreys

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17 Citations (Scopus)


We have studied the carrier recombination dynamics in an InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well structure as a function of emission energy and excitation density between temperatures of 10K and 100K. Under relatively low levels of excitation, the photoluminescence (PL) intensity and decay time of emission on the high energy side of the luminescence spectrum decrease strongly between 10K and 50K. In contrast, for emission detected on the low energy side of the spectrum, the PL intensity and decay time increase over the same temperature range. These results are consistent with a thermally activated carrier redistribution process in which the (temperature dependent) average timescale for carrier transfer into or out of a localised state depends on the energy of the given state. Thus, the transfer time out of shallow, weakly localised states is considerably shorter than the arrival time into more deeply localised states. This picture is consistent with carriers hopping between localisation sites in an uncorrelated disorder potential where the density of localised states decreases with increasing localisation depth, e.g., a exponential or Gaussian distribution resulting from random alloy disorder. Under significantly higher levels of excitation, the increased occupation fraction of the localised states results in a greater average separation distance between unoccupied localised states, causing a suppression of the spectral and dynamic signatures of the hopping transfer of carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113505
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2014


  • InGaN/GaN quantum wells
  • carrier recombination dynamics
  • quantum well structure
  • photoluminescence
  • luminescence spectroscopy
  • localized states
  • electronic transport
  • emission spectroscopy


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