InN/GaN superlattices offer an important way of band gap engineering in the blue-green range of the spectrum. This approach represents a more controlled method than the band gap tuning in quantum well systems by application of InGaN alloys. The electronic structures of short-period wurtzite InN/GaN(0001) superlattices are investigated, and the variation of the band gap with the thicknesses of the well and the barrier is discussed. Superlattices of the form mInN/nGaN with n ≥ m are simulated using band structure calculations in the Local Density Approximation with a semiempirical correction for the gap error. The calculated band gap shows a strong decrease with the thickness (m) of the InN well. In superlattices containing a single layer of InN (m = 1) the band gap increases weakly with the GaN barrier thickness n, reaching a saturation value around 2 eV. In superlattices with n = m and n > 5 the band gap closes and the systems become “metallic”. These effects are related to the existence of the built-in electric fields that strongly influence valence- and conduction-band profiles and thus determine effective band gap and emission energies of the superlattices. Varying the widths of the quantum wells and barriers one may tune band gaps over a wide spectral range, which provides flexibility in band gap engineering.
Crystal Growth and Design, 2012, Vol 12, p. 3521-3525