Determination of the nitrogen vacancy as a shallow compensating center in GaN doped with divalent metals

J. Buckeridge, C. R.A. Catlow, D. O. Scanlon, T. W. Keal, P. Sherwood, M. Miskufova, A. Walsh, S. M. Woodley, A. A. Sokol

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We report accurate energetics of defects introduced in GaN on doping with divalent metals, focusing on the technologically important case of Mg doping, using a model that takes into consideration both the effect of hole localization and dipolar polarization of the host material, and includes a well-defined reference level. Defect formation and ionization energies show that divalent dopants are counterbalanced in GaN by nitrogen vacancies and not by holes, which explains both the difficulty in achieving p-type conductivity in GaN and the associated major spectroscopic features, including the ubiquitous 3.46 eV photoluminescence line, a characteristic of all lightly divalent-metal-doped GaN materials that has also been shown to occur in pure GaN samples. Our results give a comprehensive explanation for the observed behavior of GaN doped with low concentrations of divalent metals in good agreement with relevant experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016405
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2015

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© 2015 Published by American Physical Society.


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