Persistent photoconductivity and the metal-insulator transition in Cd(_1-x)Mn(_x)Te:In
The persistent photoconductivity (PPC) effect in the diluted magnetic semiconductor Cd(_1-x)Mn(_x)Te:In has been studied in detail. Electrical transport measurements have been made on a large number of samples to build up an understanding of the phototransport properties of this material. In particular, the compositional dependence of the phototransport parameters has been measured up to x ≈ 0.2. Several samples exhibit an elevated temperature PPC effect which has been interpreted in terms of the formation of multiple DX centres. These samples can have a quenching temperature of up to 190 K, suggestmg that Cd(_1-x)Mn(_x)Te:In could be an interesting material in terms of applications of room temperature persistent photoconductors. The low field magnetoresistance has been measured and analysed quantitatively in order to attempt to identify the origin of the magnetoresistive effects in insulating and metallic samples. The positive magnetoresistance has been found to be linked with the magnetization of the sample. An anomalous negative magnetoresistance has been observed tinder certain experimental conditions. This negative magnetoresistance has been interpreted in terms of the formation of bound magnetic polarons and their contribution to spin-disorder scattering. The main body of this thesis is concerned with the study of the Metal-Insulator Transition (MIT). The PPC effect allows us to study the MIT in a continuous fashion by fine timing the carrier density by illumuiation. In this way we have made the first zero magnetic field study of the MIT in a magnetic semiconductor. The critical behaviour has been found to be consistent with the scaling theory of electron localization, which predicts a critical form σ = σ(_0)(n/n(_c) – 1)(^v). The critical conductivity exponent, v was determined to be close to one, while the critical carrier density, n(_e), was found to be ~ 2 x 10(^17) cm(^-3), for x = 0.08. The temperature dependence of the conductivity has been quantitatively analysed m both the metallic and insulating phases. On the insulating side of the transition, variable range hopping (VRH) conduction has been observed at low temperatures (down to 300 mK). The temperature dependence is consistent with VRH conduction with electron-electron interaction effects taken into account. In the metallic phase the temperature dependence of the conductivity (up to ~ 1 K) is consistent with a model where the zero temperature value of the conductivity is corrected by electron-electroninteraction effects, and the effects of weak localization. The magnitudes of these corrections are found to be in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions. The electrical transport has also been studied in the weakly localized regime in Cd(_1-x)Mn(_x)Te:In and Cd(_1-x)Mn(_x)Te:In, Al. A rapid decrease in the conductivity occurs at low temperatures ( < 1.5 K). This is interpreted in terms of the effect of the s-d exchange interaction, which leads to the formation of bound magnetic polarons. It is suggested that this drop in conductivity can only be observed in the paramagnetic phase, and that spinglassordering has a significant effect on the temperature dependence of the conductivity at low temperatures.