Deep-Ultraviolet Optoelectronics Based on GaN Quantum Disks and Bio-Inspired Nanostructures

  • Ram Chandra Subedi (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Creator)



Optoelectronics in the deep-ultraviolet (DUV) regime is still a growing research field that requires significant effort to understand the material properties and optimize the device structures to realize efficient DUV devices. Aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN) is perhaps the most studied semiconductor to replace the environmentally hazardous mercury lamps; however, the external quantum efficiency of AlGaN based DUV devices is insufficient to replace the existing old-fashioned mercury UV lamps. Despite the tunability in the bandgap of AlGaN, the excessive strain accumulation associated with increased alloying of Al in AlGaN and the poor dopant activation due to the relatively large ionization energy of the donors and acceptors are not favorable for realizing efficient DUV emitters. In addition, the crossover among the light hole, heavy hole and split-off bands in the valance band for Al-rich AlGaN suppresses the transverse-electric polarization, which further worsens the external quantum efficiency. Furthermore, for DUV photodetection, commercially available Si-photodetectors suffer from poor responsivity for wavelengths shorter than 400 nm in contrast to the visible spectrum. Hence, the-state-of-art photodetectors in the DUV regime also need a significant upgrade, particularly for high-speed applications. Firstly, we utilized the high quantum confinement in plasma-assisted MBE grown ultrathin GaN QDisks to realize DUV (λ ≈ 260 nm) emission using a binary compound (GaN) in contrast to conventionally used ternary compound (AlGaN). More importantly, we experimentally demonstrated TE-dominant DUV emission, unlike Al-rich AlGaN, illustrating a unique pathway for realizing efficient DUV vertical emitters. Secondly, inspired by the light manipulation technique practiced in nature, we presented iridocytes on giant clams (Tridacna maxima), known for their symbiotic relationship with algae as a color downconverting material for DUV photodetection. Investigating the structural and optical properties of iridocytes found in Tridacna maxima, we established a robust UV communication allowing the data transfer rate of 100 Mbit/s within the forward error correction limit for modulated 375 nm-laser diode. Using a similar matrix implemented to 375 nm-laser, with high-power UV-C LED (λ ≈ 278 nm), we could establish an optical wireless communication that could allow a data-transmission rate of tens of Mbit/s within the forward error correction limit.
Date made available2021
PublisherKAUST Research Repository

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