Photoluminescence quantum efficiency of Er optical centers in GaN epilayers
We report the quantum efficiency of photoluminescence processes of Er optical centers as well as the thermal quenching mechanism in GaN epilayers prepared by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. High resolution infrared spectroscopy and temperature dependence measurements of photoluminescence intensity from Er ions in GaN under resonant excitation excitations were performed. Data provide a picture of the thermal quenching processes and activation energy levels. By comparing the photoluminescence from Er ions in the epilayer with a reference sample of Er-doped SiO2, we find that the fraction of Er ions that emits photon at 1.54 mu m upon a resonant optical excitation is approximately 68%. This result presents a significant step in the realization of GaN: Er epilayers as an optical gain medium at 1.54 mu m.