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Comparison of room temperature, frequency degenerate and nondegenerate femtosecond pump-probe reflectivity measurements reveal an additional component in the transient reflectivity (ΔR) decays for near bandgap probe in GaN that is attributed to a reduction of bandedge broadening due to screening of internal electric fields by photogenerated carriers. Pump-probe measurements with pulses spectrally centered at 363 nm show a ΔR component with a nanosecond decay time that is essentially absent from data obtained from nondegenerate experiments performed under identical pumping conditions, but with a probe at 385 nm far enough from the bandedges to minimize the electric field contribution and monitor primarily the carrier lifetime in the band states. The observation of significantly shorter decay times for 385 nm probe suggests that the carriers leave the band states on a picosecond time scale, but the slow decay of the field screening observed with 363 nm probe implies that they recombine from trap states at longer times. In addition, this field screening provides a mechanism for generation and detection of strain pulses in strained GaN and AlGaN epilayers that is used to measure the longitudinal sound velocity in bulk GaN and AlGaN with up to 0.4 Al content.
A new technique is presented that employs luminescence downconversion using an ultrashort gating pulse to enable the characterization of UV light emission from III-nitride semiconductors with subpicosecond temporal resolution. This technique also allows one to measure PL rise times and fast components of multiple decays in the subsequent time evolution of the PL intensity. Comparison of luminescence emission intensity and lifetime in GaN and AlGaN with ∼0.1 Al content grown homoepitaxially on GaN templates with the same quantities measured in heteroepitaxial layers grown on sapphire indicate significant improvement in the homoepitaxial layers due to reduction in dislocation density. Fast (<15 ps) initial decays in the AlGaN are attributed to localization associated with alloy fluctuations and subsequent recombination through gap states.
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