Nitride-based Quantum-Confined Structures for Ultraviolet-Visible Optical Devices on Silicon Substrates

  • Bilal Janjua

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


III–V nitride quantum-confined structures embedded in nanowires (NWs), also known as quantum-disks-in-nanowires (Qdisks-in-NWs), have recently emerged as a new class of nanoscale materials exhibiting outstanding properties for optoelectronic devices and systems. It is promising for circumventing the technology limitation of existing planar epitaxy devices, which are bounded by the lattice-, crystal-structure-, and thermal- matching conditions. This work presents significant advances in the growth of good quality GaN, InGaN and AlGaN Qdisks-in-NWs based on careful optimization of the growth parameters, coupled with a meticulous layer structure and active region design. The NWs were grown, catalyst-free, using plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) on silicon (Si) substrates. A 2-step growth scheme was developed to achieve high areal density, dislocation free and vertically aligned NWs on Ti/Si substrates. Numerical modeling of the NWs structures, using the nextnano3 software, showed reduced polarization fields, and, in the presence of Qdisks, exhibited improved quantum-confinement; thus contributing to high carrier radiative-recombination rates. As a result, based on the growth and device structure optimization, the technologically challenging orange and yellow NWs light emitting devices (LEDs) targeting the ‘green-yellow’ gap were demonstrated on scalable, foundry compatible, and low-cost Ti coated Si substrates. The NWs work was also extended to LEDs emitting in the ultraviolet (UV) range with niche applications in environmental cleaning, UV-curing, medicine, and lighting. In this work, we used a Ti (100 nm) interlayer and Qdisks to achieve good quality AlGaN based UV-A (320 - 400 nm) device. To address the issue of UV-absorbing polymer, used in the planarization process, we developed a pendeo-epitaxy technique, for achieving an ultra-thin coalescence of the top p-GaN contact layer, for a self-planarized Qdisks-in-NWs UV-B (280 – 320 nm) LED grown on silicon. This process constitutes a significant advancement in simplifying the UV-B and UV-C fabrication process favoring light extraction. Addressing the issue of poor white light quality in the conventional blue laser diode (LD) and YAG:Ce3+ technology, a number of applications related investigations was conducted. Notably, the orange and yellow emitting InGaN/GaN Qdisks-in-NWs LEDs were implemented as an “active phosphor” to achieve intensity- and bandwidth-tunability for high color-quality solid-state lighting.
Date of AwardApr 2017
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorBoon Ooi (Supervisor)


  • Nitride
  • LED
  • Nanowire
  • MBE
  • Visible
  • Ultraviolet

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