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On the phenomenon of large photoluminescence red shift in GaN nanoparticles

Ahmed Ben Slimane1, Adel Najar1, Rami Elafandy1, Damián P San-Román-Alerigi1, Dalaver Anjum2, Tien Khee Ng1 and Boon S Ooi1*

Author affiliations

1 Photonics Laboratory, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia

2 Advanced Nanofabrication and Imaging Core-Lab, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:342  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-342

Published: 31 July 2013


We report on the observation of broad photoluminescence wavelength tunability from n-type gallium nitride nanoparticles (GaN NPs) fabricated using the ultraviolet metal-assisted electroless etching method. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy measurements performed on the nanoparticles revealed large size dispersion ranging from 10 to 100 nm. Nanoparticles with broad tunable emission wavelength from 362 to 440 nm have been achieved by exciting the samples using the excitation power-dependent method. We attribute this large wavelength tunability to the localized potential fluctuations present within the GaN matrix and to vacancy-related surface states. Our results show that GaN NPs fabricated using this technique are promising for tunable-color-temperature white light-emitting diode applications.

Gallium nitride nanoparticles; Ultraviolet electroless etching; Large tunable emission; Photoluminescence red shift; Potential fluctuation; Surface state effect