Size-Tunable Phosphorescence in Colloidal Metastable γ-Ga2O3 Nanocrystals
journal contributionposted on 14.07.2010, 00:00 by Ting Wang, Shokouh S. Farvid, Mutalifu Abulikemu, Pavle V. Radovanovic
We report a colloidal synthesis of gallium oxide (Ga2O3) nanocrystals having metastable cubic crystal structure (γ phase) and uniform size distribution. Using the synthesized nanocrystal size series we demonstrate for the first time a size-tunable photoluminescence in Ga2O3 from ultraviolet to blue, with the emission shifting to lower energies with increasing nanocrystal size. The observed photoluminescence is dominated by defect-based donor−acceptor pair recombination and has a lifetime of several milliseconds. Importantly, the decay of this phosphorescence is also size dependent. The phosphorescence energy and the decay rate increase with decreasing nanocrystal size, owing to a reduced donor−acceptor separation. These results allow for a rational and predictable tuning of the optical properties of this technologically important material and demonstrate the possibility of manipulating the localized defect interactions via nanocrystal size. Furthermore, the same defect states, particularly donors, are also implicated in electrical conductivity rendering monodispersed Ga2O3 nanocrystals a promising material for multifunctional optoelectronic structures and devices.