Optical properties of nitride nanostructures



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum: Optical properties of nitride nanostructures Volume 523, Issue 11, 957, Article first published online: 13 October 2011

  • This article is dedicated to Manuel Cardona.


In this paper we review some recent results on the optical properties of nitride nanostructures, in particular on GaN quantum dots (QDs) and InN nanocolumns (NCs). First, we will give a brief introduction on the particularities of vibrational modes of wurtzite. The GaN QDs, embedded in AlN, were grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) in the Stransky-Krastanov mode on c- and a-plane 6H-SiC. We have studied the optical properties by means of photoluminescence (PL) and performed Raman scattering measurements to analyze the strain relaxation in the dots and the barrier, the effect of the internal electric fields, and the influence of specific growth parameters, like the influence of capping or the spacer on the relaxation of the QDs. A theoretical model, based on continuous elastic theory, were developed to interpret the Raman scattering results. On the other hand, InN NCs have been grown by MBE in the vapor-liquid-solid mode using Au as a catalyst. The nanocolumns have different morphology depending on the growth conditions. The optical properties can be correlated to the morphology of the samples and the best growth conditions can be selected. We observe, from the analysis of the Raman data in InN NCs, the existence of two space regions contributing to the scattering: the surface and the inner region. From the inner region, uncoupled phonon modes are clearly observed, showing the high crystal quality and the complete relaxation of the NCs (no strain). The observation of a LO-phonon-plasmon couple in the same spectra is a fingerprint of the accumulation layer predicted at the surface of the nanocolumns.