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A power-dependent relative photoluminescence measurement method is developed for double-heterostructures composed of III-V semiconductors. Analyzing the data yields insight into the radiative efficiency of the absorbing layer as a function of laser intensity. Four GaAs samples of different thicknesses are characterized, and the measured data are corrected for dependencies of carrier concentration and photon recycling. This correction procedure is described and discussed in detail in order to determine the material's Shockley-Read-Hall lifetime as a function of excitation intensity. The procedure assumes 100% internal radiative efficiency under the highest injection conditions, and we show this leads to less than 0.5% uncertainty. The resulting GaAs material demonstrates a 5.7 ± 0.5 ns nonradiative lifetime across all samples of similar doping (2–3 × 1017 cm−3) for an injected excess carrier concentration below 4 × 1012 cm−3. This increases considerably up to longer than 1 s under high injection levels due to a trap saturation effect. The method is also shown to give insight into bulk and interface recombination.


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