Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Reshchikov

Second Advisor

Dr. Denis Demchenko

Third Advisor

Dr. Vitaliy Avrutin

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Maryanne Collinson


Investigation of the thermal quenching of photoluminescence (PL) in semiconductors provides valuable information on identity and characteristics of point defects in these materials, which helps to better understand and improve the properties of semiconductor materials and devices. Abrupt and tunable thermal quenching (ATQ) of PL is a relatively new phenomenon with an unusual behavior of PL. This mechanism was able to explain what a traditional model failed to explain. Usually, in traditional model used to explain “normal” quenching, the slope of PL quenching in the Arrhenius plot determines the ionization energy of the defect causing the PL band. However, in abrupt quenching when the intensity of PL decreases by several orders of magnitude within a small range of temperature, the slope in the Arrhenius plot has no relation to the ionization energy of any defect. It is not known a priori if the thermal quenching of a particular PL band is normal or abrupt and tunable. Studying new cases of unusual thermal quenching, classifying and explaining them helps to predict new cases and understand deeper the ATQ mechanism of PL thermal quenching. Very few examples of abrupt and tunable quenching of PL in semiconductors can be found in literature. The abrupt and tunable thermal quenching, reported here for the first time for high-resistivity ZnO, provides an evidence to settle the dispute concerning the energy position of the LiZn acceptor. In high-resistivity GaN samples, the common PL bands related to defects are the yellow luminescence (YL) band and a broad band in the blue spectral region (BL2). In this work, we report for the first time the observation of abrupt and tunable thermal quenching of the YL band in GaN. The activation energies for the YL and BL2 bands calculated through the new mechanism show agreement with the reported values. From this study we predict that the ATQ phenomenon is quite common for high-resistivity semiconductors.


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