Applied Physics

Carrier Dynamics Under the Microscope

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Science  28 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5748, pp. 591-593
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5748.591d

The performance of electronic devices such as thin-film transistors or semiconductor-based light-emitting diodes depends crucially on the dynamics and spatial distribution of the carriers throughout the device. In the case of light-emitting diodes, carriers can be lost because of both radiative and nonradiative recombination. Although imaging the radiative losses is fairly straightforward, imaging the nonradiative recombination centers presents more of a challenge. Okamoto et al. have developed a pump-probe technique based on scanning near-field optical microscopy and use it to image, on the submicrometer scale, the radiative and nonradiative recombination centers throughout the active layer of an indium-gallium-nitride quantum-well-based light-emitting diode. Knowledge of the relative contributions from these radiative and nonradiative recombination centers can be expected to lead to improvements in device performance as that information is fed back into the materials preparation and device design.—ISO

Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 161104 (2005).

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