Micro-structure Engineering of InGaN/GaN Quantum Wells for High Brightness Light Emitting Devices

  • Chao Shen

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


With experimental realization of micro-structures, the feasibility of achieving high brightness, low efficiency droop blue LED was implemented based on InGaN/GaN micro-LED-pillar design. A significantly high current density of 492 A/cm2 in a 20 μm diameter (D) micro-LED-pillar was achieved, compared to that of a 200 μm diameter LED (20 A/cm2), both at 10 V bias voltage. In addition, an increase in sustained quantum efficiency from 70.2% to 83.7% at high injection current density (200 A/cm2) was observed in micro-LED-pillars in conjunction with size reduction from 80 μm to 20 μm. A correlation between the strain relief and the electrical performance improvement was established for micro-LED-pillars with D < 50 μm, apart from current spreading effect. The degree of strain relief and its distribution were further studied in micro-LED-pillars with D ranging from 1 μm to 15 μm. Significant wavenumbers down-shifts for E2 and A1 Raman peaks, together with the blue shifted PL peak emission, were observed in as-prepared pillars, reflecting the degree of strain relief. A sharp transition from strained to relaxed epitaxy region was discernible from the competing E2 phonon peaks at 572 cm-1 and 568 cm-1, which were attributed to strain residue and strain relief, respectively. A uniform strain relief at the center of micro-pillars was achieved, i.e. merging of the competing phonon peaks, after Rapid Thermal Annealing (RTA) at 950℃ for 20 seconds, phenomenon of which was observed for the first time. The transition from maximum strain relief to a uniform strain relief was found along the narrow circumference (< 2.5 μm) of the pillars from the line-map of Raman spectroscopy. The extent of strain relief is also examined considering the height (L) of micro-LED-pillars fabricated using FIB micro-machining technique. The significant strain relief of up to 70% (from -1.4 GPa to -0.37 GPa), with a 71 meV PL peak blue shift, suggested that micro-LED-pillar with D < 3 μm and L > 3 μm in the array configuration would allow the building of practical devices. Overall, this work demonstrated a novel top-down approach to manufacture large effective-area, high brightness emitters for solid-state lighting applications.
Date of AwardMay 2013
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorBoon Ooi (Supervisor)


  • gallium nitride
  • quantum well
  • strain relief
  • LED
  • efficiency droop

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