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Electrical control of excitons in GaN/(Al,Ga)N quantum wells


A giant built-in electric field in the growth direction makes excitons in wide GaN/(Al, Ga)N quantum wells spatially indirect even in the absence of any external bias. Significant densities of indirect excitons can accumulate in electrostatic traps imprinted in the quantum well plane by a thin metal layer deposited on top of the heterostructure. By jointly measuring spatially-resolved photoluminescence and photo-induced current, we demonstrate that exciton density in the trap can be controlled via an external electric bias, which is capable of altering the trap depth. Application of a negative bias deepens the trapping potential, but does not lead to any additional accumulation of excitons in the trap. This is due to exciton dissociation instigated by the lateral electric field at the electrode edges. The resulting carrier losses are detected as an increased photo-current and reduced photoluminescence intensity. By contrast, application of a positive bias washes out the electrode-induced trapping potential. Thus, excitons get released from the trap and recover free propagation in the plane that we reveal by spatially-resolved photoluminescence.

Dates and versions

hal-03621796 , version 1 (28-03-2022)



R. Aristegui, F. Chiaruttini, Benoît Jouault, Pierre Lefebvre, Christelle Brimont, et al.. Electrical control of excitons in GaN/(Al,Ga)N quantum wells. 2022. ⟨hal-03621796⟩
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