Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Prof. Nikolaus Dietz - Chair

Second Advisor

Prof. Mark Stockman

Third Advisor

Prof. A. G. U. Perera

Fourth Advisor

Prof. Paul Wiita

Fifth Advisor

Prof. Brian Thoms

Sixth Advisor

Prof. Gary Hastings


The structural properties of the group III-nitrides including AlN, Ga1-xMnxN, GaN:Cu, and InN were investigated by Raman spectroscopy. Absorption and photoluminescence spectroscopy were utilized to study the optical properties in these materials. The analysis of physical vapor transport grown AlN single crystals showed that oxygen, carbon, silicon, and boron are the major impurities in the bulk AlN. The Raman analysis revealed high crystalline quality and well oriented AlN single crystals. The absorption coefficient of AlN single crystals were assessed in the spectral range from deep UV to the FIR. The absorption and photoluminescence analysis indicate that, in addition to oxygen, carbon, boron, and silicon, contribute to the optical properties of bulk AlN crystals. In situ Cu-doped GaN epilayers with Cu concentrations in the range of 2x10^16 cm-3 - 5x1017 cm-3, grown on sapphire substrate by metal organic chemical vapor deposition, were investigated by Raman and PL spectroscopy. The Raman study revealed high crystalline GaN:Cu layers with minimal damage to the hexagonal lattice structure due to the Cu incorporation. A strong Cu related emission band at 2.4 eV was assigned to Cu induced optical transitions between deep Cu states and shallow residual donor states. Compensation of Cu states by residual donors and poor activation probability of deep Cu states are responsible for semi-insulating electrical conductivity. Ferromagnetic Ga1-xMnxN epilayers, grown by MOCVD with Mn concentration from x = 0 to x = 1.5, were optically investigated by Raman, PL, and transmission spectroscopy. The Raman studies revealed Mn-related Raman peaks at 300 cm-1, 609 cm-1, and 669 cm-1. Mn-related absorption and emission bands in Ga1-xMnxN were observed at 1.5 eV and 3.0 eV, respectively. The structural properties of InN layers, grown by high pressure-CVD with different free carrier concentrations, were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy. The Raman results show that the InN layers have high crystalline quality. The free carriers in layers were calculated by using the Lindhard-Mermin dielectric function taking into account finite wave vectors for various scattering processes including forbidden Frohlich, deformational potential associated with allowed electro-optic, and charge density fluctuation, mechanisms. The free carrier concentrations in the layers are below 1x10^20 cm-3.