In this paper, we describe ultraviolet-A (UV-A) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emitting at 325 nm based on a highly uniform structure of quantum-confined AlGaN quantum-disk nanowires (NWs). By incorporating a 20 nm TaN interlayer between a Ti pre-orienting layer and the silicon substrate, we eliminated the potential barrier for carrier injection and phonon transport, and inhibited the formation of interfacial silicide that led to device failure. Compared to previous reports on metal substrate, we achieved a 16 × reduction in root-mean-square (RMS) roughness, from 24 nm to 1.6 nm, for the samples with the Ti/TaN metal-bilayer, owing to the effective diffusion barrier characteristic of TaN. This was confirmed using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). We achieved a considerable increase in the injection current density (up to 90 A/cm2) compared to our previous studies, and an optical power of 1.9 μW for the 0.5 × 0.5 mm2 NWs-LED. This work provides a feasible pathway for both a reliable and stable UV-A device operation at elevated current injection, and eventually towards low-cost production of UV devices, leveraging on the scalability of silicon substrates.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1614-01-01
Acknowledgements: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Grant No. KACST TIC R2-FP-008. This work was partially supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) baseline funding, BAS/1/1614-01-01.