Improved performance of UVC-LEDs by combination of high-temperature annealing and epitaxially laterally overgrown AlN/sapphire

N. Susilo1, E. Ziffer1, S. Hagedorn2, L. Cancellara3, C. Netzel2, N. Lobo Ploch2, S. Wu1, J. Rass2, S. Walde2, L. Sulmoni1, M. Guttmann1, T. Wernicke1, M. Albrecht3, M. Weyers2, and M. Kneissl1,2

Published in:

Photonics Res., vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 589-594 (2020).

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We report on the performance of AlGaN-based deep ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) emitting at 265 nm grown on stripe-patterned high-temperature annealed (HTA) epitaxially laterally overgrown (ELO) aluminium nitride (AlN)/sapphire templates. For this purpose, the structural and electro-optical properties of ultraviolet-c light-emitting diodes (UVC-LEDs) on as-grown and on HTA planar AlN/sapphire as well as ELO AlN/sapphire with and without HTA are investigated and compared. Cathodoluminescence measurements reveal dark spot densities of 3.5 × 109 cm-2, 1.1 × 109 cm-2, 1.4 × 109 cm-2, and 0.9 × 109 cm-2 in multiple quantum well samples on as-grown planar AlN/sapphire, HTA planar AlN/sapphire, ELO AlN/sapphire, and HTA ELO AlN/sapphire, respectively, and are consistent with the threading dislocation densities determined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and high-resolution X-ray diffraction rocking curve. The UVC-LED performance improves with the reduction of the threading dislocation densities (TDDs). The output powers (measured on-wafer in cw operation at 20 mA) of the UV-LEDs emitting at 265 nm were 0.03 mW (planar AlN/sapphire), 0.8 mW (planar HTA AlN/sapphire), 0.9 mW (ELO AlN/sapphire), and 1.1 mW (HTA ELO AlN/sapphire), respectively. Furthermore, Monte Carlo ray-tracing simulations showed a 15% increase in light-extraction efficiency due to the voids formed in the ELO process. These results demonstrate that HTA ELO AlN/sapphire templates provide a viable approach to increase the efficiency of UV-LEDs, improving both the internal quantum efficiency and the light-extraction efficiency.

1 Institute of Solid State Physics, Technische Universität Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 36, 10623 Berlin, Germany
2 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibnitz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Straße 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany
3 Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung, Max-Born-Straße 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany