The cooling of a light emitting diode (LED) by photons carrying out more energy than was used to electrically bias the device, has been predicted decades ago.1, 2 While this effect, known as electroluminescent cooling (ELC), may allow e.g. fabricating thermophotonic heat pumps (THP) providing higher efficiencies than the existing solid state coolers,3 ELC at powers sufficient for practical applications is still not demonstrated. To study high-power ELC we use double diode structures (DDSs), which consist of a double heterojunction (DHJ) LED and a photodiode (PD) grown within a single technological process and, thus, enclosed in a cavity with a homogeneous refractive index.4, 5 The presence of the PD in the structure allows to more directly probe the efficiency of the LED, without the need for light extraction from the system, reducing undesirable losses. Our analysis of experimentally measured I − V curves for both the LED and the PD suggests that the local efficiency of the high-performance LEDs we have fabricated is approximately 110%, exceeding unity over a wide range of injection current densities of up to about 100A/cm2 . At present the efficiency of the full DDS, however, still falls short of unity, not allowing direct evidence of the extraction of thermal energy from the LED. Here we review our previous studies of DDS for high-power EL cooling and discuss in more detail the remaining bottlenecks for demonstrating high-power ELC in the DDS context: the LED surface states, resistive and photodetection losses. In particular we report our first surface passivation measurements. Further optimization therefore mainly involves reducing the influence of the surface states, e.g. using more efficient surface passivation techniques and optimizing the PD. This combined with the optimization of the DDS layer thicknesses and contact metallization schemes is expected to finally allow purely experimental observation of high-power ELC.
Ivan Radevici, Toufik Sadi, Tripathi Tripurari, Jonna Tiira, Sanna Ranta, Antti Tukiainen, Mircea Guina, and Jani Oksanen, "Observation of local electroluminescent cooling and identifying the remaining challenges," Proc. SPIE 10936, Photonic Heat Engines: Science and Applications, 109360A (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 03, 2019; Published: 1 March 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2505814.
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