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High-quality AlGaN epitaxy on lattice-engineerable AlN template for high-power UVC light-emitting diodes

S. Waldea, C.-Y. Huangb, C.-L. Tsaic, W.-H. Hsiehd, Y.-K. Fuc, S. Hagedorna, H. -W. Yenb, T.-C. Lud, M. Weyersa, C.-Y. Huangc,d

Published in:

Acta Mater., vol. 226, pp. 117625 (2022).


AlGaN-based UVC light-emitting diodes (LED) were fabricated on high-quality AlN templates with an engineerable in-plane lattice constant. The controllability of the in-plane strain originated from the vacancy formation in Si-doped AlN (AlN:Si) and their interaction with edge dislocations. The strain state of the Si:AlN top interface could be well depicted by a dislocation-tilt model depending on the buffer strain state, threading dislocation density (TDD), and regrown Si:AlN thickness. The validity of the model was verified by cross-sectional TEM analysis. With a gradually widened lattice constant of regrown Si:AlN layer, strain-induced defects of subsequently grown n-AlGaN was suppressed. Therefore, growing a current spreading layer which possesses a moderate Al content (<65%), decent thickness (>1.5 µm), and a low TDD (<1.0 × 109 cm-2) simultaneously becomes possible. Additionally, the idea of an optimal edge TDD (ρe,opt) in the AlN buffer was revealed for growing high-quality n-AlGaN layers with a targeted thickness. After a deliberate strain-TDD engineering for Si:AlN and n-AlGaN, high-power UVC LEDs (λ = 275 nm, P > 200 mW) with a low forward voltage (Vf = 5.7 volt) were demonstrated at I = 1.35 A. The low forward voltage under high current injection density was attributed to the success in preparation of a low series resistance and high-quality n-AlGaN current spreading layer.

a Ferdinand-Braun-Institut gGmbH, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Strasse 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany
b Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taiwan ROC
c Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute, 195, Sec. 4, Chung Hsing Rd., Hsinchu, Taiwan ROC
d Department of Photonics, College of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan ROC

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