• high-pressure spectroscopy;
  • photoluminescence;
  • pressure coefficient;
  • ternary nitride alloys


Studies of ambient-pressure and high-pressure behavior of photoluminescence (PL) for series of InxAl1−xN layers are presented. The measured evolution of PL energy (EPL) with x is characterized by a clear decrease of EPL and exhibits a strong bowing. This dependence corresponds to the predictions of ab initio calculations of the band-gap energy changes EG with x. However, values of EPL are clearly lower than EG, for 0<x<0.3. For higher x, the measured EPL follows well the calculated EG. The experimentally determined pressure coefficient of PL energy (dEPL/dp) shows a complicated behavior for alloys with different In-content. We found a strong reduction of dEPL/dp for 0<x<0.3 and a relatively constant magnitude of this coefficient for higher x. Moreover, for the lower x region, we observed dEPL/dp that can differ even by a factor two in samples with nominally very similar In-content. The general tendency in dEPL/dp evolution with x corresponds to lower values than calculated dEG/dp for alloys with non-uniform indium distribution. We propose two not necessary independent explanations of these experimental findings. First, due to non-uniform In distribution (induced, e.g. by defects or non-homogeneous strain) both EPL and dEPL/dp are reduced. Second, a similar behavior results from an involvement of the localized states, whose formation and contribution to PL can be induced by strain and/or native defects. In both hypotheses, the strain/defect density can significantly change around x ≈ 0.18 where InxAl1−xN layers are lattice matched to GaN template.