Carrier-induced refractive index change and optical absorption in wurtzite InN and GaN: Full-band approach

Date
2010
Authors
Bulutay, C.
Turgut, C. M.
Zakhleniuk, N. A.
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Source Title
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Print ISSN
1098-0121
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Publisher
The American Physical Society
Volume
81
Issue
15
Pages
155206-1 - 155206-10
Language
English
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Article
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Abstract

Based on the full band electronic structure calculations, first we consider the effect of n -type doping on the optical absorption and the refractive index in wurtzite InN and GaN. We identify quite different dielectric response in either case; while InN shows a significant shift in the absorption edge due to n -type doping, this is masked for GaN due to efficient cancellation of the Burstein-Moss effect by the band gap renormalization. Moreover, for high doping levels the intraband absorption becomes significant in InN. For energies below 1 eV, the corresponding shifts in the real parts of the dielectric function for InN and GaN are in opposite directions. Furthermore, we observe that the free-carrier plasma contribution to refractive index change becomes more important than both band filling and the band gap renormalization for electron densities above 1019 cm -3 in GaN, and 1020 cm -3 in InN. As a result of the two different characteristics mentioned above, the overall change in the refractive index due to n -type doping is much higher in InN compared to GaN, which in the former exceeds 4% for a doping of 1019 cm -3 at 1.55μm wavelength. Finally, we consider intrinsic InN under strong photoexcitation which introduces equal density of electron and holes thermalized to their respective band edges. The change in the refractive index at 1.55μm is observed to be similar to the n -doped case up to a carrier density of 1020 cm -3. However, in the photoexcited case this is now accompanied by a strong absorption in this wavelength region due to Γ5v → Γ6v intravalence band transition. Our findings suggest that the alloy composition of Inx Ga1-x N can be optimized in the indium-rich region so as to benefit from high carrier-induced refractive index change while operating in the transparency region to minimize the losses. These can have direct implications for InN-containing optical phase modulators and lasers.

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