The radiative performance of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) was assessed by the spatio-time-resolved luminescence measurements on its microcrystals (MCs) annealed in an O2 gas ambient. The MCs exhibited distinct deep ultraviolet luminescence peaks higher than 5.7 eV, although h-BN is an indirect bandgap semiconductor. The result indicates a strong interaction between the indirect excitons (iXs) and LO/TO (and LA/TA) phonons at T points of the Brillouin zone. Such phonon replicas of free iXs and a luminescence band at 4.0 eV showed negligible thermal quenching, most probably assisted by the strong excitonic effect, enhanced phonon scattering, and formation of a surface BxOy layer that prevents excitons from surface recombination by the thermal excitation. Conversely, the luminescence band between 5.1 and 5.7 eV, which seems to consist of LO/TO phonon replicas of iXs localized at a certain structural singularity that are further scattered by multiple TO phonons at K points and another two emission peaks that originate from the singularity, showed the thermal quenching. In analogy with GaN and AlGaN, cation vacancy complexes most likely act as native nonradiative recombination centers (NRCs). In the present case, vacancy complexes that contain a boron vacancy (VB), such as divacancies with a nitrogen vacancy (VN), VBVN, are certain to act as NRCs. In this instance, iXs delocalized from the singularity are likely either captured by NRCs or the origin of the 4.0 eV-band; the latter is assigned to originate from a carbon on the N site or a complex between VB and an oxygen on the N site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)