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).

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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.

  • G. Kusch, M. Conroy, H. Li, P. R. Edwards, C. Zhao, B. S. Ooi, J. Pugh, M. J. Cryan, P. J. Parbrook, and R. W. Martin, “Multi-wavelength emission from a single InGaN/GaN nanorod analyzed by cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging,” Scientific Reports, 2018.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    Multiple luminescence peaks emitted by a single InGaN/GaN quantum-well(QW) nanorod, extending from the blue to the red, were analysed by a combination of electron microscope based imaging techniques. Utilizing the capability of cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging it was possible to investigate spatial variations in the luminescence properties on a nanoscale. The high optical quality of a single GaN nanorod was demonstrated, evidenced by a narrow band-edge peak and the absence of any luminescence associated with the yellow defect band. Additionally two spatially confined broad luminescence bands were observed, consisting of multiple peaks ranging from 395nm to 480nm and 490nm to 650 nm. The lower energy band originates from broad c-plane QWs located at the apex of the nanorod and the higher energy band from the semipolar QWs on the pyramidal nanorod tip. Comparing the experimentally observed peak positions with peak positions obtained from plane wave modelling and 3D finite difference time domain(FDTD) modelling shows modulation of the nanorod luminescence by cavity modes. By studying the influence of these modes we demonstrate that this can be exploited as an additional parameter in engineering the emission profile of LEDs.

    @article{strathprints62810,
    month = {January},
    title = {Multi-wavelength emission from a single InGaN/GaN nanorod analyzed by cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging},
    author = {Gunnar Kusch and Michele Conroy and Haoning Li and Paul R. Edwards and Chao Zhao and Boon S. Ooi and Jon Pugh and Martin J. Cryan and Peter J. Parbrook and Robert W. Martin},
    year = {2018},
    journal = {Scientific Reports},
    keywords = {luminescence, InGaN/GaN quantum-well, nanorods, hyperspectral imaging, LEDs, Optics. Light, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics},
    url = {https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/62810/},
    abstract = {Multiple luminescence peaks emitted by a single InGaN/GaN quantum-well(QW) nanorod, extending from the blue to the red, were analysed by a combination of electron microscope based imaging techniques. Utilizing the capability of cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging it was possible to investigate spatial variations in the luminescence properties on a nanoscale. The high optical quality of a single GaN nanorod was demonstrated, evidenced by a narrow band-edge peak and the absence of any luminescence associated with the yellow defect band. Additionally two spatially confined broad luminescence bands were observed, consisting of multiple peaks ranging from 395nm to 480nm and 490nm to 650 nm. The lower energy band originates from broad c-plane QWs located at the apex of the nanorod and the higher energy band from the semipolar QWs on the pyramidal nanorod tip. Comparing the experimentally observed peak positions with peak positions obtained from plane wave modelling and 3D finite difference time domain(FDTD) modelling shows modulation of the nanorod luminescence by cavity modes. By studying the influence of these modes we demonstrate that this can be exploited as an additional parameter in engineering the emission profile of LEDs.}
    }

  • K. P. Mingard, M. Stewart, M. G. Gee, S. Vespucci, and C. Trager-Cowan, “Practical application of direct electron detectors to EBSD mapping in 2D and 3D,” Ultramicroscopy, vol. 184, iss. Part A, pp. 242-251, 2018.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    The use of a direct electron detector for the simple acquisition of 2D electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) maps and 3D EBSD datasets with a static sample geometry has been demonstrated in a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope. The small size and flexible connection of the Medipix direct electron detector enabled the mounting of sample and detector on the same stage at the short working distance required for the FIB. Comparison of 3D EBSD datasets acquired by this means and with conventional phosphor based EBSD detectors requiring sample movement showed that the former method with a static sample gave improved slice registration. However, for this sample detector configuration, significant heating by the detector caused sample drift. This drift and ion beam reheating both necessitated the use of fiducial marks to maintain stability during data acquisition.

    @article{strathprints62078,
    volume = {184},
    number = {Part A},
    month = {January},
    author = {K.P. Mingard and M. Stewart and M.G. Gee and S. Vespucci and C. Trager-Cowan},
    title = {Practical application of direct electron detectors to EBSD mapping in 2D and 3D},
    journal = {Ultramicroscopy},
    pages = {242--251},
    year = {2018},
    keywords = {EBSD, direct electron detector, medipix, 3D EBSD, SEM image drift, focused ion beam, Optics. Light, Instrumentation, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials},
    url = {https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/62078/},
    abstract = {The use of a direct electron detector for the simple acquisition of 2D electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) maps and 3D EBSD datasets with a static sample geometry has been demonstrated in a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope. The small size and flexible connection of the Medipix direct electron detector enabled the mounting of sample and detector on the same stage at the short working distance required for the FIB. Comparison of 3D EBSD datasets acquired by this means and with conventional phosphor based EBSD detectors requiring sample movement showed that the former method with a static sample gave improved slice registration. However, for this sample detector configuration, significant heating by the detector caused sample drift. This drift and ion beam reheating both necessitated the use of fiducial marks to maintain stability during data acquisition.}
    }

  • I. A. Ajia, P. R. Edwards, Y. Pak, E. Belekov, M. A. Roldan, N. Wei, Z. Liu, R. W. Martin, and I. S. Roqan, “Generated carrier dynamics in V-pit enhanced InGaN/GaN light emitting diode,” ACS Photonics, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    We investigate the effects of V-pits on the optical properties of a state-of-the art highly efficient, blue InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well (MQW) light emitting diode (LED) with high internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of > 80%. The LED is structurally enhanced by incorporating pre-MQW InGaN strain relief layer with low InN content and patterned sapphire substrate. For comparison, a conventional (unenhanced) InGaN/GaN MQW LED (with IQE of 46%) grown under similar conditions was subjected to the same measurements. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) reveals the absence of V-pits in the unenhanced LED, whereas in the enhanced LED, V-pits with {10-11} facets, emerging from threading dislocations (TDs) were prominent. Cathodoluminescence mapping reveals the luminescence properties near the V-pits, showing that the formation of V-pit defects can encourage the growth of defect-neutralizing barriers around TD defect states. The diminished contribution of TDs in the MQWs allows indium-rich localization sites to act as efficient recombination centers. Photoluminescence and time-resolved spectroscopy measurements suggest that the V-pits play a significant role in the generated carrier rate and droop mechanism, showing that the quantum confined Stark effect is suppressed at low generated carrier density, after which the carrier dynamics and droop are governed by the carrier overflow effect.

    @Article{strathprints62657,
    author = {Idris. A. Ajia and Paul R. Edwards and Yusin Pak and Ermek Belekov and Manuel A. Roldan and Nini Wei and Zhiqiang Liu and Robert W. Martin and Iman S. Roqan},
    title = {Generated carrier dynamics in V-pit enhanced InGaN/GaN light emitting diode},
    journal = {ACS Photonics},
    year = {2017},
    month = {December},
    abstract = {We investigate the effects of V-pits on the optical properties of a state-of-the art highly efficient, blue InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well (MQW) light emitting diode (LED) with high internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of > 80%. The LED is structurally enhanced by incorporating pre-MQW InGaN strain relief layer with low InN content and patterned sapphire substrate. For comparison, a conventional (unenhanced) InGaN/GaN MQW LED (with IQE of 46%) grown under similar conditions was subjected to the same measurements. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) reveals the absence of V-pits in the unenhanced LED, whereas in the enhanced LED, V-pits with {10-11} facets, emerging from threading dislocations (TDs) were prominent. Cathodoluminescence mapping reveals the luminescence properties near the V-pits, showing that the formation of V-pit defects can encourage the growth of defect-neutralizing barriers around TD defect states. The diminished contribution of TDs in the MQWs allows indium-rich localization sites to act as efficient recombination centers. Photoluminescence and time-resolved spectroscopy measurements suggest that the V-pits play a significant role in the generated carrier rate and droop mechanism, showing that the quantum confined Stark effect is suppressed at low generated carrier density, after which the carrier dynamics and droop are governed by the carrier overflow effect.},
    keywords = {InGaN, efficiency droop, light emitting diode, carrier dynamics, time-resolved spectroscopy, Optics. Light, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics},
    url = {https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/62657/}
    }

  • A. K. Singh, K. P. O’Donnell, P. R. Edwards, K. Lorenz, J. H. Leach, and M. Boćkowski, “Eu-Mg defects and donor-acceptor pairs in GaN : photodissociation and the excitation transfer problem,” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    We have investigated temperature-dependent photoluminescence (TDPL) profiles of Eu³⁺ ions implanted in an HVPE-grown bulk GaN sample doped with Mg and of donor-acceptor pairs (DAP) involving the shallow Mg acceptor in GaN(Mg) (unimplanted) and GaN(Mg):Eu samples. Below 125 K, the TDPL of Eu³⁺ in GaN(Mg):Eu correlates with that of the DAP. Below 75 K, the intensity of Eu³⁺ emission saturates, indicating a limitation of the numbers of Eu-Mg defects available to receive excitation transferred from the host, while the DAP continues to increase, albeit more slowly in the implanted than the unimplanted sample. Prolonged exposure to UV light at low temperature results in the photodissociation of Eu-Mg defects, in their Eu1(Mg) configuration, with a corresponding increase in shallow DAP emission and the emergence of emission from unassociated EuGa (Eu2) defects.

    @Article{strathprints62526,
    author = {A.K. Singh and K.P. O'Donnell and P.R. Edwards and K. Lorenz and J.H. Leach and M. Bo{\'c}kowski},
    title = {Eu-Mg defects and donor-acceptor pairs in GaN : photodissociation and the excitation transfer problem},
    journal = {Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics},
    year = {2017},
    month = {December},
    abstract = {We have investigated temperature-dependent photoluminescence (TDPL) profiles of Eu³⁺ ions implanted in an HVPE-grown bulk GaN sample doped with Mg and of donor-acceptor pairs (DAP) involving the shallow Mg acceptor in GaN(Mg) (unimplanted) and GaN(Mg):Eu samples. Below 125 K, the TDPL of Eu³⁺ in GaN(Mg):Eu correlates with that of the DAP. Below 75 K, the intensity of Eu³⁺ emission saturates, indicating a limitation of the numbers of Eu-Mg defects available to receive excitation transferred from the host, while the DAP continues to increase, albeit more slowly in the implanted than the unimplanted sample. Prolonged exposure to UV light at low temperature results in the photodissociation of Eu-Mg defects, in their Eu1(Mg) configuration, with a corresponding increase in shallow DAP emission and the emergence of emission from unassociated EuGa (Eu2) defects.},
    keywords = {temperature-dependent photoluminescence, photodissociation, Physics, Physics and Astronomy(all)},
    url = {https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/62526/}
    }

  • A. K. Singh, K. P. O’Donnell, P. R. Edwards, D. Cameron, K. Lorenz, M. J. Kappers, M. Boćkowski, M. Yamaga, and R. Prakash, “Luminescence of Eu³⁺ in GaN(Mg, Eu) : transitions from the ⁵D₁ level,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 111, p. 241105, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    Eu-doped GaN(Mg) exemplifies hysteretic photochromic switching between two configurations, Eu0 and Eu1(Mg), of the same photoluminescent defect. Using above bandgap excitation, we studied the temperature dependence of photoluminescence (TDPL) of transitions from the excited ⁵D₁ level of Eu³⁺ for both configurations of this defect. During sample cooling, ⁵D₁→⁷F₀,₁,₂ transitions of Eu0 manifest themselves at temperatures below ~200 K, while those of Eu1(Mg) appear only during switching. The observed line positions verify crystal field energies of the ⁷F₀,₁,₂ levels. TDPL profiles of ⁵D₁→⁷F₁ and ⁵D₀→7FJ transitions of Eu0 show an onset of observable emission from the ⁵D₁ level coincident with the previously observed, but hitherto unexplained, decrease in the intensity of its ⁵D₀→⁷FJ emission on cooling below 200 K. Hence the ⁵D₀→⁷FJ TDPL anomaly signals a back-up of ⁵D₁ population due to a reduction in phonon-assisted relaxation between ⁵D₁ and ⁵D₀ levels at lower temperatures. We discuss this surprising result in the light of temperature-dependent transient luminescence measurements of Eu0.

    @Article{strathprints62516,
    author = {A.K. Singh and K.P. O'Donnell and P.R. Edwards and D. Cameron and K. Lorenz and M.J. Kappers and M. Bo{\'c}kowski and M. Yamaga and R. Prakash},
    title = {Luminescence of Eu³⁺ in GaN(Mg, Eu) : transitions from the ⁵D₁ level},
    journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
    year = {2017},
    volume = {111},
    pages = {241105},
    month = {November},
    abstract = {Eu-doped GaN(Mg) exemplifies hysteretic photochromic switching between two configurations, Eu0 and Eu1(Mg), of the same photoluminescent defect. Using above bandgap excitation, we studied the temperature dependence of photoluminescence (TDPL) of transitions from the excited ⁵D₁ level of Eu³⁺ for both configurations of this defect. During sample cooling, ⁵D₁→⁷F₀,₁,₂ transitions of Eu0 manifest themselves at temperatures below ~200 K, while those of Eu1(Mg) appear only during switching. The observed line positions verify crystal field energies of the ⁷F₀,₁,₂ levels. TDPL profiles of ⁵D₁→⁷F₁ and ⁵D₀→7FJ transitions of Eu0 show an onset of observable emission from the ⁵D₁ level coincident with the previously observed, but hitherto unexplained, decrease in the intensity of its ⁵D₀→⁷FJ emission on cooling below 200 K. Hence the ⁵D₀→⁷FJ TDPL anomaly signals a back-up of ⁵D₁ population due to a reduction in phonon-assisted relaxation between ⁵D₁ and ⁵D₀ levels at lower temperatures. We discuss this surprising result in the light of temperature-dependent transient luminescence measurements of Eu0.},
    keywords = {photoluminescence, bandgap, temperature, Physics, Physics and Astronomy(all)},
    url = {https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/62516/}
    }