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Connecting Theory and Practice in Optoelectronics
Looking back at 2016, I just realized that my yearly load of peer reviews has increased to almost 80 journal papers, mainly in the field of optoelectronic device simulation. The rising number of such paper submissions to top journals is certainly good news, but the paper quality is often insufficient. Unfortunately, I have to propose rejection of most papers after a detailed assessment of essential mistakes. A fundamental mistake in my view is the unproven assumption that simulations represent the real world. Authors often don’t seem to understand that computer simulations lead us into a virtual reality in which many unreal effects can happen – depending on their choice of mathematical models and material parameters.
Thus, I would like to list a few general recommendations that would make a simulation paper more acceptable, at least in my view:
However, be aware that some level of uncertainty always remains since simulations always simplify the real world and measured data are always limited. Two recent publications investigate such uncertainties in GaN-LED simulations [1,2]. In fact, the large body of peer-reviewed but often contradicting GaN-LED simulation papers underlines the urgency of establishing quality guidelines in our field. I hope this blog post initiates a broader discussion on how to improve the general reputation and the practical impact of numerical simulations.
UPDATE 2/7/17: An updated list of recommendations is now available here.
 How to decide between competing efficiency droop models for GaN-based light-emitting diodes, Appl. Phys. Lett. 107, 031101 (2015)
 On the uncertainty of the Auger recombination coefficient extracted from InGaN/GaN light-emitting diode efficiency droop measurements, Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 101101 (2015)