Atomic structure of luminescent centers in high-efficiency Ce-doped w-AlN single crystal

Ryo Ishikawa, Andrew R. Lupini, Fumiyasu Oba, Scott D. Findlay, Naoya Shibata, Takashi Taniguchi, Kenji Watanabe, Hiroyuki Hayashi, Toshifumi Sakai, Isao Tanaka, Yuichi Ikuhara, Stephen J. Pennycook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Rare-earth doped wurtzite-type aluminum nitride (w-AlN) has great potential for high-efficiency electroluminescent applications over a wide wavelength range. However, because of their large atomic size, it has been difficult to stably dope individual rare-earth atoms into the w-AlN host lattice. Here we use a reactive flux method under high pressure and high temperature to obtain cerium (Ce) doped w-AlN single crystals with pink-colored luminescence. In order to elucidate the atomic structure of the luminescent centers, we directly observe individual Ce dopants in w-AlN using annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy. We find that Ce is incorporated as single, isolated atoms inside the w-AlN lattice occupying Al substitutional sites. This new synthesis method represents a new alternative strategy for doping size-mismatched functional atoms into wide band-gap materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3778
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 21
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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