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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

Latest publications
A complete list of our papers can be found here.

  • 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,
    volume = {186},
    month = {June},
    title = {Influence of the growth method on the photoluminescence spectra and electronic properties of CuInS2 single crystals},
    author = {A.V. Mudryi and M.V. Yakushev and V.A. Volkov and V.D. Zhivulko and O.M. Borodavchenko and R.W. Martin},
    year = {2017},
    pages = {123--126},
    journal = {Journal of Luminescence},
    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/},
    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.}
    }

  • C. Ni, G. J. Hedley, J. Payne, V. Svrcek, C. McDonald, L. K. Jagadamma, P. Edwards, R. Martin, D. Mariotti, P. Maguire, I. Samuel, and J. Irvine, “Charge carrier localised in zero-dimensional (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9 clusters,” Nature Communications, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    A metal-organic hybrid perovskite with 3-D framework of metal halide octahedra has been reported as a low-cost, solution processable absorber for a thin film solar cell with a power conversion efficiency over 20 \%. Low-dimensional layered perovskites with metal halide slabs separated by the insulating organic layers are reported to show higher stability, but the efficiencies of the solar cells are limited by the anisotropy of the crystals because of the confinement of excitons. In order to explore the confinement and transport of excitons in zero-dimensional metal-organic hybrid materials, a highly-orientated film of methylammonium bismuth halide, (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9, with a nanometer sized core cluster of Bi2I93- surrounded by insulating CH3NH3+, was deposited on a quartz substrate via solution processing. The (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9 film shows highly anisotropic photoluminescence emission and excitation due to the large proportion of localized excitons coupled with a small number of delocalised excitons from inter-cluster energy transfer. The abrupt increase in photoluminescence quantum yield at excitation energy above twice band gap could indicate a quantum cutting due to the low dimensionality.

    @article{strathprints60928,
    month = {June},
    title = {Charge carrier localised in zero-dimensional (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9 clusters},
    author = {Chengsheng Ni and Gordon J. Hedley and Julia Payne and Vladimir Svrcek and Calum McDonald and Lethy Krishnan Jagadamma and Paul Edwards and Robert Martin and Davide Mariotti and Paul Maguire and Ifor Samuel and John Irvine},
    year = {2017},
    journal = {Nature Communications},
    keywords = {perovskite, metal-organic, metal-halide, octahedra, absorber , thin-film solar cell, photoluminescence quantum yield, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all), Chemistry(all), Physics and Astronomy(all)},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/60928/},
    abstract = {A metal-organic hybrid perovskite with 3-D framework of metal halide octahedra has been reported as a low-cost, solution processable absorber for a thin film solar cell with a power conversion efficiency over 20 \%. Low-dimensional layered perovskites with metal halide slabs separated by the insulating organic layers are reported to show higher stability, but the efficiencies of the solar cells are limited by the anisotropy of the crystals because of the confinement of excitons. In order to explore the confinement and transport of excitons in zero-dimensional metal-organic hybrid materials, a highly-orientated film of methylammonium bismuth halide, (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9, with a nanometer sized core cluster of Bi2I93- surrounded by insulating CH3NH3+, was deposited on a quartz substrate via solution processing. The (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9 film shows highly anisotropic photoluminescence emission and excitation due to the large proportion of localized excitons coupled with a small number of delocalised excitons from inter-cluster energy transfer. The abrupt increase in photoluminescence quantum yield at excitation energy above twice band gap could indicate a quantum cutting due to the low dimensionality.}
    }

  • 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/}
    }

  • M. V. Yakushev, M. A. Sulimov, J. Márquez-Prieto, I. Forbes, J. Krustok, P. R. Edwards, V. D. Zhivulko, O. M. Borodavchenko, A. V. Mudryi, and R. W. Martin, “Influence of the copper content on the optical properties of CZTSe thin films,” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 168, pp. 69-77, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    We present an optical spectroscopy study of Cu₂ZnSnSe₄ (CZTSe) thin films deposited on Mo/glass substrates. The [Cu]/[Zn+Sn] ratio in these films varies from nearly stoichiometric to strongly Cu deficient and Zn rich. Increasing Cu deficiency and Zn excess widens the bandgap Eg, determined using photoluminescence excitation (PLE) at 4.2 K, from 0.99 eV to 1.03 eV and blue shifts the dominant band in the photoluminescence (PL) spectra from 0.83 eV to 0.95 eV. The PL spectra of the near stoichiometric film reveal two bands: a dominant band centred at 0.83 eV and a lower intensity one at 0.93 eV. The temperature and excitation intensity dependence of the PL spectra help to identify the recombination mechanisms of the observed emission bands as free-to-bound: recombination of free electrons with holes localised at acceptors affected by randomly distributed potential fluctuations. Both the mean depth of such fluctuations, determined by analysing the shape of the dominant bands, and the broadening energy, estimated from the PLE spectra, become smaller with increasing Cu deficiency and Zn excess which also widens Eg due to an improved ordering of the Cu/Zn atoms. These changes in the elemental composition induce a significant blue shift of the PL bands exceeding the Eg widening. This is attributed to a change of the dominant acceptor for a shallow one, and is beneficial for the solar cell performance. Film regions with a higher degree of Cu/Zn ordering are present in the near stoichiometric film generating the second PL band at 0.93 eV.

    @Article{strathprints60524,
    author = {M. V. Yakushev and M. A. Sulimov and J. M{\'a}rquez-Prieto and I. Forbes and J. Krustok and P. R. Edwards and V. D. Zhivulko and O. M. Borodavchenko and A. V. Mudryi and R. W. Martin},
    title = {Influence of the copper content on the optical properties of CZTSe thin films},
    journal = {Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {168},
    pages = {69-77},
    month = {April},
    abstract = {We present an optical spectroscopy study of Cu₂ZnSnSe₄ (CZTSe) thin films deposited on Mo/glass substrates. The [Cu]/[Zn+Sn] ratio in these films varies from nearly stoichiometric to strongly Cu deficient and Zn rich. Increasing Cu deficiency and Zn excess widens the bandgap Eg, determined using photoluminescence excitation (PLE) at 4.2 K, from 0.99 eV to 1.03 eV and blue shifts the dominant band in the photoluminescence (PL) spectra from 0.83 eV to 0.95 eV. The PL spectra of the near stoichiometric film reveal two bands: a dominant band centred at 0.83 eV and a lower intensity one at 0.93 eV. The temperature and excitation intensity dependence of the PL spectra help to identify the recombination mechanisms of the observed emission bands as free-to-bound: recombination of free electrons with holes localised at acceptors affected by randomly distributed potential fluctuations. Both the mean depth of such fluctuations, determined by analysing the shape of the dominant bands, and the broadening energy, estimated from the PLE spectra, become smaller with increasing Cu deficiency and Zn excess which also widens Eg due to an improved ordering of the Cu/Zn atoms. These changes in the elemental composition induce a significant blue shift of the PL bands exceeding the Eg widening. This is attributed to a change of the dominant acceptor for a shallow one, and is beneficial for the solar cell performance. Film regions with a higher degree of Cu/Zn ordering are present in the near stoichiometric film generating the second PL band at 0.93 eV.},
    keywords = {copper, thin films, optical spectroscopy, photoluminescence excitation, stoichiometric film, Cu2ZnSnSe4, defects, zinc, Physics, Surfaces, Coatings and Films, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/60524/}
    }

  • S. Magalhães, N. Franco, I. M. Watson, R. W. Martin, K. P. O’Donnell, H. P. D. Schenk, F. Tang, T. C. Sadler, M. J. Kappers, R. A. Oliver, T. Monteiro, T. L. Martin, P. A. J. Bagot, M. P. Moody, E. Alves, and K. Lorenz, “Validity of Vegard’s rule for AlₓIn₁₋ₓN (0.08<x<0.28) thin films grown on GaN templates,” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol. 50, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    In this work, comparative x-ray diffraction (XRD) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) measurements allow a comprehensive characterization of AlₓIn₁₋ₓN thin films grown on GaN. Within the limits of experimental accuracy, and in the compositional range 0.08  <  x <  0.28, the lattice parameters of the alloys generally obey Vegard’s rule, varying linearly with the InN fraction. Results are also consistent with the small deviation from linear behaviour suggested by Darakchieva et al (2008 Appl. Phys. Lett. 93 261908). However, unintentional incorporation of Ga, revealed by atom probe tomography (APT) at levels below the detection limit for RBS, may also affect the lattice parameters. Furthermore, in certain samples the compositions determined by XRD and RBS differ significantly. This fact, which was interpreted in earlier publications as an indication of a deviation from Vegard’s rule, may rather be ascribed to the influence of defects or impurities on the lattice parameters of the alloy. The wide-ranging set of AlₓIn₁₋ₓN films studied allowed furthermore a detailed investigation of the composition leading to lattice-matching of AlₓIn₁₋ₓN/GaN bilayers.

    @Article{strathprints60823,
    author = {S Magalh{\~a}es and N Franco and I M Watson and R W Martin and K P O'Donnell and H P D Schenk and F Tang and T C Sadler and M J Kappers and R A Oliver and T Monteiro and T L Martin and P A J Bagot and M P Moody and E Alves and K Lorenz},
    title = {Validity of Vegard's rule for AlₓIn₁₋ₓN (0.08<x<0.28) thin films grown on GaN templates},
    journal = {Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {50},
    month = {April},
    note = {This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6463/aa69dc},
    abstract = {In this work, comparative x-ray diffraction (XRD) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) measurements allow a comprehensive characterization of AlₓIn₁₋ₓN thin films grown on GaN. Within the limits of experimental accuracy, and in the compositional range 0.08  <  x <  0.28, the lattice parameters of the alloys generally obey Vegard's rule, varying linearly with the InN fraction. Results are also consistent with the small deviation from linear behaviour suggested by Darakchieva et al (2008 Appl. Phys. Lett. 93 261908). However, unintentional incorporation of Ga, revealed by atom probe tomography (APT) at levels below the detection limit for RBS, may also affect the lattice parameters. Furthermore, in certain samples the compositions determined by XRD and RBS differ significantly. This fact, which was interpreted in earlier publications as an indication of a deviation from Vegard's rule, may rather be ascribed to the influence of defects or impurities on the lattice parameters of the alloy. The wide-ranging set of AlₓIn₁₋ₓN films studied allowed furthermore a detailed investigation of the composition leading to lattice-matching of AlₓIn₁₋ₓN/GaN bilayers.},
    keywords = {comparative x-ray diffraction, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry , Vegard's rule, lattice parameters, gallium, thin films, Physics, Surfaces, Coatings and Films, Acoustics and Ultrasonics, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials, Condensed Matter Physics},
    url = {http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/60823/}
    }