The Semiconductor Spectroscopy and Devices research group is part of the Nanoscience division of the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde. The Department is a member of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA).

Research interests


Group news
  • August 2017: Elena Pascal was jointly awarded the Corbett Prize at the 29th ICDS conference, Matsue, Japan.
  • July 2017: The Group was well represented at the ICNS-12 conference in Strasbourg, presenting invited and contributed talks and several posters.
  • July 2017: Our new JEOL JXA-8530F field-emission electron probe microanalyser (EPMA) is now up and running.
Latest publications
A complete list of our papers can be found here.

  • C. G. Bryce, E. D. Le Boulbar, P. -M. Coulon, P. R. Edwards, I. Gîrgel, D. W. E. Allsopp, P. A. Shields, and R. W. Martin, “Quantum well engineering in InGaN/GaN core-shell nanorod structures,” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    We report the ability to control relative InN incorporation in InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QWs) grown on the semi-polar and non-polar facets of a core-shell nanorod LED structure by varying the growth conditions. A study of the cathodoluminescence emitted from series of structures with different growth temperatures and pressures for the InGaN QW layer revealed that increasing the growth pressure had the effect of increasing InN incorporation on the semi-polar facets, while increasing the growth temperature improves the uniformity of light emission from the QWs on the non-polar facets.

    @Article{strathprints61754,
    author = {C. G. Bryce and Le Boulbar, E. D. and P.-M. Coulon and P. R. Edwards and I. G{\^i}rgel and D. W. E. Allsopp and P. A. Shields and R. W. Martin},
    title = {Quantum well engineering in InGaN/GaN core-shell nanorod structures},
    journal = {Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics},
    year = {2017},
    month = {September},
    abstract = {We report the ability to control relative InN incorporation in InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QWs) grown on the semi-polar and non-polar facets of a core-shell nanorod LED structure by varying the growth conditions. A study of the cathodoluminescence emitted from series of structures with different growth temperatures and pressures for the InGaN QW layer revealed that increasing the growth pressure had the effect of increasing InN incorporation on the semi-polar facets, while increasing the growth temperature improves the uniformity of light emission from the QWs on the non-polar facets.},
    keywords = {cathodoluminescence, quantum wells, Physics, Physics and Astronomy(all)},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/61754/}
    }

  • J. Bruckbauer, Z. Li, N. Gunasekar, M. Warzecha, P. Edwards, L. Jiu, J. Bai, T. Wang, C. Trager-Cowan, and R. Martin, “Spatially-resolved optical and structural properties of semi-polar (11-22) AlₓGa₁₋ₓN with x up to 0.56,” Scientific Reports, vol. 7, p. 10804, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    Pushing the emission wavelength of efficient ultraviolet (UV) emitters further into the deep-UV requires material with high crystal quality, while also reducing the detrimental effects of built-in electric fields. Crack-free semi-polar (11-22) Al_xGa_(1-x)N epilayers with AlN contents up to x=0.56 and high crystal quality were achieved using an overgrowth method employing GaN microrods on m-sapphire. Two dominant emission peaks were identified using cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging. The longer wavelength peak originates near and around chevron-shaped features, whose density is greatly increased for higher contents. The emission from the majority of the surface is dominated by the shorter wavelength peak, influenced by the presence of basal-plane stacking faults (BSFs). Due to the overgrowth technique BSFs are bunched up in parallel stripes where the lower wavelength peak is broadened and hence appears slightly redshifted compared with the higher quality regions in-between. Additionally, the density of threading dislocations in these region is one order of magnitude lower compared with areas affected by BSFs as ascertained by electron channelling contrast imaging. Overall, the luminescence properties of semi-polar AlGaN epilayers are strongly influenced by the overgrowth method, which shows that reducing the density of extended defects improves the optical performance of high AlN content AlGaN structures.

    @Article{strathprints61607,
    author = {Jochen Bruckbauer and Zhi Li and Naresh Gunasekar and Monika Warzecha and Paul Edwards and Ling Jiu and Jie Bai and Tao Wang and Carol Trager-Cowan and Robert Martin},
    title = {Spatially-resolved optical and structural properties of semi-polar (11-22) {AlₓGa₁₋ₓN} with x up to 0.56},
    journal = {Scientific Reports},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {7},
    pages = {10804},
    month = {August},
    abstract = {Pushing the emission wavelength of efficient ultraviolet (UV) emitters further into the deep-UV requires material with high crystal quality, while also reducing the detrimental effects of built-in electric fields. Crack-free semi-polar (11-22) Al\_xGa\_(1-x)N epilayers with AlN contents up to x=0.56 and high crystal quality were achieved using an overgrowth method employing GaN microrods on m-sapphire. Two dominant emission peaks were identified using cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging. The longer wavelength peak originates near and around chevron-shaped features, whose density is greatly increased for higher contents. The emission from the majority of the surface is dominated by the shorter wavelength peak, influenced by the presence of basal-plane stacking faults (BSFs). Due to the overgrowth technique BSFs are bunched up in parallel stripes where the lower wavelength peak is broadened and hence appears slightly redshifted compared with the higher quality regions in-between. Additionally, the density of threading dislocations in these region is one order of magnitude lower compared with areas affected by BSFs as ascertained by electron channelling contrast imaging. Overall, the luminescence properties of semi-polar AlGaN epilayers are strongly influenced by the overgrowth method, which shows that reducing the density of extended defects improves the optical performance of high AlN content AlGaN structures.},
    keywords = {emission wavelengths, III-nitride structures, cathodoluminescence, Physics, Physics and Astronomy(all)},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/61607/}
    }

  • G. Naresh-Kumar, A. Vilalta-Clemente, H. Jussila, A. Winkelmann, G. Nolze, S. Vespucci, S. Nagarajan, A. J. Wilkinson, and C. Trager-Cowan, “Quantitative imaging of anti-phase domains by polarity sensitive orientation mapping using electron backscatter diffraction,” Scientific Reports, vol. 7, p. 10916, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    Advanced structural characterisation techniques which are rapid to use, non-destructive and structurally definitive on the nanoscale are in demand, especially for a detailed understanding of extended-defects and their influence on the properties of materials. We have applied the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) technique in a scanning electron microscope to non-destructively characterise and quantify antiphase domains (APDs) in GaP thin films grown on different (001) Si substrates with different offcuts. We were able to image and quantify APDs by relating the asymmetrical intensity distributions observed in the EBSD patterns acquired experimentally and comparing the same with the dynamical electron diffraction simulations. Additionally mean angular error maps were also plotted using automated cross-correlation based approaches to image APDs. Samples grown on substrates with a 4? offcut from the [110] do not show any APDs, whereas samples grown on the exactly oriented substrates contain APDs. The procedures described in our work can be adopted for characterising a wide range of other material systems possessing non-centrosymmetric point groups.

    @Article{strathprints61621,
    author = {G. Naresh-Kumar and A. Vilalta-Clemente and H. Jussila and A. Winkelmann and G. Nolze and S. Vespucci and S. Nagarajan and A.J. Wilkinson and C. Trager-Cowan},
    title = {Quantitative imaging of anti-phase domains by polarity sensitive orientation mapping using electron backscatter diffraction},
    journal = {Scientific Reports},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {7},
    pages = {10916},
    month = {August},
    abstract = {Advanced structural characterisation techniques which are rapid to use, non-destructive and structurally definitive on the nanoscale are in demand, especially for a detailed understanding of extended-defects and their influence on the properties of materials. We have applied the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) technique in a scanning electron microscope to non-destructively characterise and quantify antiphase domains (APDs) in GaP thin films grown on different (001) Si substrates with different offcuts. We were able to image and quantify APDs by relating the asymmetrical intensity distributions observed in the EBSD patterns acquired experimentally and comparing the same with the dynamical electron diffraction simulations. Additionally mean angular error maps were also plotted using automated cross-correlation based approaches to image APDs. Samples grown on substrates with a 4? offcut from the [110] do not show any APDs, whereas samples grown on the exactly oriented substrates contain APDs. The procedures described in our work can be adopted for characterising a wide range of other material systems possessing non-centrosymmetric point groups.},
    keywords = {quantitative imaging, orientation mapping, thin films, Physics, Physics and Astronomy(all)},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/61621/}
    }

  • A. V. Mudryi, M. V. Yakushev, V. A. Volkov, V. D. Zhivulko, O. M. Borodavchenko, and R. W. Martin, “Influence of the growth method on the photoluminescence spectra and electronic properties of CuInS₂ single crystals,” Journal of Luminescence, vol. 186, pp. 123-126, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    A comparative analysis of free and bound excitons in the photoluminescence (PL) spectra of CuInS2 single crystals grown by the traveling heater (THM) and the chemical vapor transport (CVT) methods is presented. The values of the binding energy of the A free exciton (18.5 and 19.7 meV), determined by measurements of the spectral positions of the ground and excited states, allowed the Bohr radii (3.8 and 3.7 nm), bandgaps (1.5536 and 1.5548 eV) and dielectric constants (10.2 and 9.9) to be calculated for CuInS2 crystals grown by THM and CVT, respectively.

    @Article{strathprints60887,
    author = {A.V. Mudryi and M.V. Yakushev and V.A. Volkov and V.D. Zhivulko and O.M. Borodavchenko and R.W. Martin},
    title = {Influence of the growth method on the photoluminescence spectra and electronic properties of {CuInS₂} single crystals},
    journal = {Journal of Luminescence},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {186},
    pages = {123--126},
    month = {June},
    abstract = {A comparative analysis of free and bound excitons in the photoluminescence (PL) spectra of CuInS2 single crystals grown by the traveling heater (THM) and the chemical vapor transport (CVT) methods is presented. The values of the binding energy of the A free exciton (18.5 and 19.7 meV), determined by measurements of the spectral positions of the ground and excited states, allowed the Bohr radii (3.8 and 3.7 nm), bandgaps (1.5536 and 1.5548 eV) and dielectric constants (10.2 and 9.9) to be calculated for CuInS2 crystals grown by THM and CVT, respectively.},
    keywords = {photoluminescence, CuInS2, excitons, traveling heater, chemical vapor transport, chalcopyrite semiconductor, growth method, Optics. Light, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/60887/},
    }

  • E. D. Le Boulbar, J. Priesol, M. Nouf-Allehiani, G. Naresh-Kumar, S. Fox, C. Trager-Cowan, A. Šatka, D. W. E. Allsopp, and P. A. Shields, “Design and fabrication of enhanced lateral growth for dislocation reduction in GaN using nanodashes,” Journal of Crystal Growth, vol. 466, pp. 30-38, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    The semiconductor gallium nitride is the material at the centre of energy-efficient solid-state lighting and is becoming increasingly important in high-power and high-frequency electronics. Reducing the dislocation density of gallium nitride planar layers is important for improving the performance and reliability of devices, such as light-emitting diodes and high-electron-mobility transistors. The patterning of selective growth masks is one technique for forcing a three-dimensional growth mode in order to control the propagation of threading defects to the active device layers. The morphology of the three-dimensional growth front is determined by the relative growth rates of the different facets that are formed, and for GaN is typically limited by the slow-growing \{1 ?1 0 1\} facets. We demonstrate how the introduction of nanodash growth windows can be oriented in an array to preserve fast-growing \{1 1 ?2 2\} facets at the early stage of growth to accelerate coalescence of three-dimensional structures into a continuous GaN layer. Cathodoluminescence and Electron Channelling Contrast Imaging methods, both used to measure the threading dislocation density, reveal that the dislocations are organised and form a distinctive pattern according to the underlying mask. By optimising the arrangement of nanodashes and the nanodash density, the threading dislocation density of GaN on sapphire epilayers can be reduced significantly from 109 cm?2 to 3.0 {$\times$} 107 cm?2. Raman spectroscopy, used to monitor the strain in the overgrown GaN epilayers, shows that the position of the GaN E2H phonon mode peak was reduced as the dash density increases for a sample grown via pendeo-epitaxy whilst no obvious change was recorded for a sample grown via more conventional epitaxial lateral overgrowth. These results show how growth mask design can be used to circumvent limitations imposed by the growth dynamics. Moreover, they have revealed a greater understanding of the influence of the growth process on the dislocation density which will lead to higher performing electronic and optoelectronic devices as a result of the lower dislocation densities achieved.

    @Article{strathprints60304,
    author = {Le Boulbar, E. D. and J. Priesol and M. Nouf-Allehiani and G. Naresh-Kumar and S. Fox and C. Trager-Cowan and A. {\v S}atka and D. W. E. Allsopp and P. A. Shields},
    title = {Design and fabrication of enhanced lateral growth for dislocation reduction in {GaN} using nanodashes},
    journal = {Journal of Crystal Growth},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {466},
    pages = {30--38},
    month = {May},
    abstract = {The semiconductor gallium nitride is the material at the centre of energy-efficient solid-state lighting and is becoming increasingly important in high-power and high-frequency electronics. Reducing the dislocation density of gallium nitride planar layers is important for improving the performance and reliability of devices, such as light-emitting diodes and high-electron-mobility transistors. The patterning of selective growth masks is one technique for forcing a three-dimensional growth mode in order to control the propagation of threading defects to the active device layers. The morphology of the three-dimensional growth front is determined by the relative growth rates of the different facets that are formed, and for GaN is typically limited by the slow-growing \{1 ?1 0 1\} facets. We demonstrate how the introduction of nanodash growth windows can be oriented in an array to preserve fast-growing \{1 1 ?2 2\} facets at the early stage of growth to accelerate coalescence of three-dimensional structures into a continuous GaN layer. Cathodoluminescence and Electron Channelling Contrast Imaging methods, both used to measure the threading dislocation density, reveal that the dislocations are organised and form a distinctive pattern according to the underlying mask. By optimising the arrangement of nanodashes and the nanodash density, the threading dislocation density of GaN on sapphire epilayers can be reduced significantly from 109 cm?2 to 3.0 {$\times$} 107 cm?2. Raman spectroscopy, used to monitor the strain in the overgrown GaN epilayers, shows that the position of the GaN E2H phonon mode peak was reduced as the dash density increases for a sample grown via pendeo-epitaxy whilst no obvious change was recorded for a sample grown via more conventional epitaxial lateral overgrowth. These results show how growth mask design can be used to circumvent limitations imposed by the growth dynamics. Moreover, they have revealed a greater understanding of the influence of the growth process on the dislocation density which will lead to higher performing electronic and optoelectronic devices as a result of the lower dislocation densities achieved.},
    keywords = {defects, metalorganic chemical vapour epitaxy, pendeoepitaxy, selective epitaxy, nitrides, semiconducting III-V materials, gallium nitride, solid-state lighting, cathodoluminescence, electron channelling contrast imaging, Optics. Light, Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering, Physics and Astronomy(all), Electrical and Electronic Engineering},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/60304/}
    }