Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications

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Thermoluminescence (TL) or thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL) spectroscopy is based on liberating charge carriers from traps in the bandgap by providing enough thermal energy to overcome the potential barrier of the traps. It provides a powerful tool to measure the positions of the localized states/traps in the bandgap. Despite that, its applications in semiconductors are very limited. Herein, the basics of TL spectroscopy and the recent advances in the technique with focus on cryogenic thermally stimulated photoemission spectroscopy (C-TSPS) which extends TL measurements to cryogenic regime and allows the detection of very low concentrations of shallow and deep localized states is discussed. One goal herein is to introduce the reader to the use of TL and C-TSPS in the characterization of semiconductors, explaining how it can be applied and demonstrating its advantages as a powerful tool for measuring shallow donor/acceptor ionization energies in semiconductors and as a method for characterizing compensating defects. The article also discusses interesting potential applications of C-TSPS in new research areas such as corrosion and formation of oxide layers on metal surfaces.

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Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science