Although zinc selenide and related materials are promising for blue light-emitting diodes and lasers, present performance is unsatisfactory. The blue radiative efficiency at room temperature is low and the decay time of luminescence is correspondingly short. It is argued that the problem is non-radiative recombination by the Hall–Shockley–Read mechanism at deep levels and that the concentration of these levels must be high. Experimental evidence for the existence of such levels is presented. Characterisation and control of deep levels will be essential for progress in this area.
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