Electrostatic Mechanism of Emission Enhancement in Hybrid Metal-semiconductor Light-emitting Heterostructures Page: 18
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In investigating the aforementioned material system, I will make use of several
well-known experimental techniques in order to quantify aspects of the Ill-V nitride
samples I have obtained. In this case, I am interested primarily in the light-emission or
luminescence characteristics of the sample. There exist many techniques for producing
luminescence within a light-emitting semiconductor including electroluminescence
(excitation by driving a current through the system), cathodoluminesecence (excitation
by injecting electrons directly into the sample), and photoluminescence (excitation by an
incident light-source such as a laser). I will focus primarily on photoluminescence (PL)
techniques in this chapter, and how to interpret/analyze the spectral data that is the
result of the measurements.
3.2 Origin of Luminescence
Before I continue, it is helpful to have a brief refresher on the mechanisms which
result in light-emission from a semiconductor. In a semiconductor, there exist two sets
of energy levels known collectively as the valence and conduction bands. These bands
arise due to the creation of forbidden energy gaps in the motion of an electron within a
periodic potential like the lattice of a semiconductor .
The separation in energy between the highest occupied energy level in the
valance band and the lowest unoccupied energy level in the semiconductor is known as
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Llopis, Antonio. Electrostatic Mechanism of Emission Enhancement in Hybrid Metal-semiconductor Light-emitting Heterostructures, dissertation, May 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115113/m1/28/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .