The strain dependence of the free-exciton resonance energies in AlN epilayers is presented and the values are analyzed using an appropriate Hamiltonian assuming equibiaxial stress for the wurtzite crystal structure in order to obtain valence band parameters. Based on the results, we study the strain dependence of the valence band ordering, optical transition probability, and free-exciton binding energy. As a result of these calculations, the following strain-free values are obtained for the energy gap, averaged dielectric constants, and ordinary and extraordinary dielectric constants: Eg =6.095 eV at T=11 K, =7.87, ⊥ =7.33, and =8.45, respectively. A brief discussion of the valence band ordering in bulk Alx Ga1-x N is also presented.
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