What is it about?

New materials are sought for lighting (ie LEDs) for more efficient emission of green and yellow light. We present a material with tunable emission characteristics based on the arrangement of atoms in ZnGeN2. Less periodic arrangements of atoms on their crystal lattice result in lower energy emission pushing the radiated light from near ultraviolet to yellow and green.

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Why is it important?

This work shows the positive effects and potential setbacks of using atomic-scale ordering to achieve efficient devices and increase our control over the properties of materials with many atomic species. ZnGeN2 is shown to have a widely tunable band gap for instance, which is useful for tuning the wavelength of light emitted from a device, but also exhibits localized charge carriers, which may impede the efficient radiation of light.


The article raises the question of how band gaps (one electronic property related to the energy of emission) are discussed in the scientific community and suggests a more nuanced approach for understanding the band gap in the context of point defects, small imperfections in the crystal lattice of a material.

Jacob Cordell
Colorado School of Mines

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This page is a summary of: Bandgap analysis and carrier localization in cation-disordered ZnGeN2, APL Materials, January 2022, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0077632.
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