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Proceedings Paper

Effect of rare earth elements (Er, Ho) on semi-metallic materials (ScN) in an applied electric field
Author(s): Hyunjung Kim; Yeonjoon Park; Glen C. King; Kunik Lee; Sang H. Choi
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Paper Abstract

The development of materials and fabrication technology for field-controlled spectrally active optics is essential for applications such as membrane optics, filters for LIDARs, windows for sensors, telescopes, spectroscopes, cameras and flat-panel displays. The dopants of rare earth elements, in a host of optical systems, create a number of absorption and emission band structures and can easily be incorporated into many high quality crystalline and amorphous hosts. In wide band-gap semiconductors like ScN, the existing deep levels can capture or emit the mobile charges, and can be ionized with the loss or capture of the carriers which are the fundamental basis of concept for smart optic materials. The band gap shrinkage or splitting with dopants supports the possibility of this concept. In the present work, a semi-metallic material (ScN) was doped with rare earth elements (Er, Ho) and tested under an applied electric field to characterize spectral and refractive index shifts by either Stark or Zeeman Effect. These effects can be verified using the UV-Vis spectroscopy, the Hall Effect measurement and the ellipsometric spectroscopy. The optical band gaps of ScN doped with Er and doped with Ho were experimentally estimated as 2.33eV and 2.24eV (±0.2eV) respectively. This is less than that of undoped ScN (2.5±0.2eV). The red-shifted absorption onset is a direct evidence for the decrease of band gap energy (Eg), and the broadening of valence band states is attributable to the doping cases. A decrease in refractive index with an applied field was observed as a small shift in absorption coefficient using a variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometer. In the presence of an electric field, mobile carriers are redistributed within the space charge region (SCR) to produce this electro-refractive effect. The shift in refractive index is also affected by the density and location of deep potential wells within the SCR. In addition, the microstructure change was observed by a TEM analysis. These results give an insight for future applications for the field-controlled spectrally active material

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 March 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8344, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2012, 83440X (31 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.917313
Show Author Affiliations
Hyunjung Kim, National Institute of Aerospace (United States)
Yeonjoon Park, National Institute of Aerospace (United States)
Glen C. King, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Kunik Lee, Federal Highway Administration (United States)
Sang H. Choi, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8344:
Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2012
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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