Eu ions have been doped into GaN in order to achieve red luminescence under current injection, where coupling between the Eu ions and intrinsic defects such as vacancies are known to play an important role. However, the charge state of the vacancies and the impact it would have on the optical and magnetic properties of the Eu ions have not been explored. Through a combination of first-principle calculations and experimental results, the influence of the charge state of the defect environment surrounding the Eu ions has been investigated. We have identified two Eu centers that are related through the charge state of a local vacancy defect. These two centers were found to exhibit a mutual metastability, such that each center can be excited in one configuration and emit as the other. This metastability was found to be dependent on temperature and the wavelength of the excitation laser. Furthermore, one of these centers was found to have an effective magnetic g factor that is substantially larger than what is expected for an isolated Eu3+ ion and is explained by a change in the charge state of the defect environment around the Eu. This prediction could also offer a new explanation for the saturation magnetization previously observed in GaN : Eu and other GaN:RE systems.
Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Mitchell, B., Hernandez, N., Lee, D., Koizumi, A., Fujiwara, Y., & Dierolf, V. (2017). Charge state of vacancy defects in Eu-doped GaN. Physical Review B, 96(6), 064308-1-064308-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.96.064308