The impact of rapid thermal annealing on the optical emission of GaInNAs/GaAs quantum wells (QWs) grown by molecular beam epitaxy with high In and N content is shown to be highly dependent on the crystal structure of the QWs, as determined by transmission electron microscopy. Due to the presence of higher concentrations of nonradiative recombination centers, the annealing temperature required to obtain maximum photoluminescence emission is higher for the QW with strong structural modulation of the upper interface [at the onset of three-dimensional (3D) growth], intermediate for the two-dimensional (2D) grown QW with compositional fluctuations, and lower for the homogeneous 2D grown QW. Moreover, the transition from homogeneous 2D growth, to 2D growth with compositional fluctuations, and finally 3D growth, leads to progressively deeper carrier localization states below the conduction-band edge. Increasing annealing temperatures gradually shifts the localization states closer to the conduction-band edge, predominantly when compositional fluctuations are present. These results suggest a link between the formation of carrier localization centers and the presence of alloy fluctuations along the QW.

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