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Deep-Level Centers

  • Karl W. Böer
  • Udo W. PohlEmail author
Living reference work entry

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Abstract

A wide variety of deep-level centers exists of both intrinsic and extrinsic origin. They often provide a preferred path for carrier recombination or act as deep traps. Deep-level defects have tightly bound electrons in small orbits which, for the ground state, often do not extend beyond the distance to the next neighbors of the semiconductors. Their electronic eigenfunctions can mix with both conduction and valence bands. Many of the deep defect levels relax substantially after defect recharging or excitation, causing a significant change in the equilibrium position of the surrounding atoms. In optical spectra, the strong lattice coupling leads to a broadened spectrum with a weak zero-phonon transition and hardly identifiable individual phonon lines.

The description of deep-level centers requires a tight-binding analysis. Such centers may, however, have higher excited states which have quasi-hydrogen character with corresponding orbits extending well into the surrounding lattice. For extrinsic deep-level centers, the atomic electronegativity is an indicator for the depth of the central-cell potential. The deep centers act as deep traps for either electrons or holes. Many of them have various charge states in the bandgap with corresponding levels depending on the Fermi energy, leading to effective compensation of doping. Deep-level centers may also act as recombination centers when their relaxation is significant and thereby form a bridge between conduction and valence band for nonradiative recombination. Transition-metal impurities are a prominent group with vastly different defect-level behaviors, showing both intracenter excitations and ionization with charge transfer.

Keywords

Deep trap Central-cell potential Color center Compensation Crystal-field splitting Crystal-field theory DX center F center Ham effect Intraionic transitions Jahn-Teller distortion Negative-U center Passivation Recombination centers Tanabe-Sugano diagram Transition-metal impurities Vacancy 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NaplesUSA
  2. 2.Institut für Festkörperphysik, EW5-1Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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