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Structural and optical characterization of Eu-implanted GaN

Lorenz, K. and Barradas, N.P. and Alves, E. and Roqan, I.S. and Nogales, E. and Martin, R.W. and O'Donnell, K.P. and Gloux, F. and Ruterana, P. (2009) Structural and optical characterization of Eu-implanted GaN. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 42 (16). ISSN 0022-3727

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GaN was implanted with 300 keV Eu ions over a wide fluence range from 1 × 1013 to 1 × 1016 Eu cm−2 at room temperature (RT) or 500 °C. Detailed structural and optical characterizations of the samples were performed using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and channelling, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, wavelength dispersive x-ray emission and RT cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy. RT implantation results in a sigmoidal-shaped damage build-up curve with four regimes that were correlated with the formation of specific kinds of defects. After annealing at 1000 °C only samples implanted to fluences below 0.8 × 1015 Eu cm−2 showed near complete recovery of the crystal. Implantation at elevated temperature significantly decreases the implantation damage and increases the fraction of Eu incorporated on substitutional Ga-sites. The improved structural properties of samples implanted at elevated temperature are reflected in a higher intensity of Eu-related red light emission after annealing at 1000 °C. The RT CL intensity is correlated with the number of Eu ions on substitutional Ga-sites after annealing. Furthermore, a detailed study of optical activation shows that the optimum annealing temperature depends on the implantation fluence due to the sensitive balance of defects removed and created during high temperature annealing.