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Bright Luminescence from Indirect and Strongly Bound Excitons in h-BN

Abstract : A quantitative analysis of the excitonic luminescence efficiency in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is carried out by cathodoluminescence and compared with two other wide bandgap semiconductors, zinc oxide and diamond. A high value of ~15% is found at 10 K for the hBN internal quantum yield, almost two orders of magnitude higher than for diamond, although both crystals present indirect bandgaps. The hBN luminescence efficiency remains stable up to room temperature consistently with tightly bound excitons. Ab initio calculations of the exciton dispersion in bulk hBN confirm the lowest-energy exciton is indirect, with a theoretical binding energy equal to 300 meV in agreement with the observed thermal stability of luminescence. The direct exciton is found with a binding energy of 670 meV in good agreement with previous reports. Its energy turns out to be ~100 meV above the indirect one and finally solves the long-standing debate on the Stoke shift in bulk hBN. The benefits of these findings for the understanding of atomic BN layer properties are discussed.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 22, 2019 - 4:20:05 PM
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Léonard Schué, Lorenzo Sponza, Alexandre Plaud, Hakima Bensalah, Kenji Watanabe, et al.. Bright Luminescence from Indirect and Strongly Bound Excitons in h-BN. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (1998-2015), American Physical Society, 2019, 122, pp.067401-1 - 0674014. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.067401⟩. ⟨hal-02046487⟩

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