III-nitride based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have great potential in various applications due to their higher efficiency and longer lifetime. However, conventional planar structure InGaN LED suffers from total internal reflection due to large refractive index contrast between GaN (nGaN = 2.5) and air (nair = 1), which results in low light extraction efficiency (ηextraction). Accordingly, various approaches have been proposed previously to enhance the ηextraction. Nevertheless, most of the proposed methods involve elaborated fabrication processes. Therefore, in this work, we proposed the integration of three-dimensional (3D) printing with LED fabrication as a straightforward and highlyreproducible method to improve the ηextraction. Specifically, 500-μm diameter dome-shaped lens of optically transparent acrylate-based photopolymer is 3D-printed on planar structure 500 × 500 μm2 blue-emitting LEDs. Light output power measurement shows that up to 9% enhancement at injection current 4 mA can be obtained from the LEDs with 3D printed lens on top as compared to LEDs without the lens. Angle-dependent electroluminescence measurement also exhibits significant light output enhancement between angles 0 and 30° due to the larger photon escape cone introduced by the higher refractive index of the 3D printed lens (nlens = 1.5) than the air medium as well as the enhanced light scattering effect attributed to the curvature surface of the 3D printed lens. Our simulation results based on 3D finitedifference time-domain method also show that up to 1.61-times enhancement in ηextraction can be achieved by the use of 3D-printed lens of various dimensions as compared to conventional structure without the lens.
III-nitride based ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diodes (LEDs) are of considerable interest in replacing gas lasers and mercury lamps for numerous applications. Specifically, AlGaN quantum well (QW) based LEDs have been developed extensively but the external quantum efficiencies of which remain less than 10% for wavelengths <300 nm due to high dislocation density, difficult p-type doping and most importantly, the physics and band structure from the three degeneration valence subbands. One solution to address this issue at deep UV wavelengths is by the use of the AlGaN-delta-GaN QW where the insertion of the delta-GaN layer can ensure the dominant conduction band (C) - heavyhole (HH) transition, leading to large transverse-electric (TE) optical output. Here, we proposed and investigated the physics and polarization-dependent optical characterizations of AlN-delta- GaN QW UV LED at ~300 nm. The LED structure is grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) where the delta-GaN layer is ~3-4 monolayer (QW-like) sandwiched by 2.5-nm AlN sub-QW layers. The physics analysis shows that the use of AlN-delta-GaN QW ensures a larger separation between the top HH subband and lower-energy bands, and strongly localizes the electron and HH wave functions toward the QW center and hence resulting in ~30-time enhancement in TEpolarized spontaneous emission rate, compared to that of a conventional Al0.35Ga0.65N QW. The polarization-dependent electroluminescence measurements confirm our theoretical analysis; a dominant TE-polarized emission was obtained at 298 nm with a minimum transverse-magnetic (TM) polarized emission, indicating the feasibility of high-efficiency TEpolarized UV emitters based on our proposed QW structure.
Ultraviolet (UV) lasers with wavelength (λ) < 300 nm have important applications in free-space communication, water/air purification, and biochemical agent detection. Conventionally, AlGaN quantum wells (QWs) are widely used as active region for UV lasers. However, high-efficiency electrically injected mid-UV lasers with λ ~ 250-300 nm are still very challenging as the corresponding AlGaN QWs suffer from severe band-mixing effect due to the presence of the valence sub-band crossover between the heavy-hole (HH) and crystal-field split off (CH) sub-bands, which would result in very low optical gain in such wavelength regime.
Therefore, in this work, we propose and investigate the use of AlInN material system as an alternative for mid-UV lasers. Nanostructure engineering by the use of AlInN-delta-GaN QW has been performed to enable dominant conduction band – HH sub-band transition as well as optimized electron-hole wave function overlap. The insertion of the ultra-thin delta-GaN layer, which is lattice-matched to Al0.82In0.18N layer, would localize the wave functions strongly toward the center of the active region, leading to large transverse electric (TE) polarized optical gain (gTE) for λ~ 250- 300 nm. From our finding, the use of AlInN-delta-GaN QW resulted in ~ 3-times enhancement in TE-polarized optical gain, in comparison to that of conventional AlGaN QW, for gain media emitting at ~ 255 nm. The peak emission wavelength can be tuned by varying the delta layer thickness while maintaining large TE gain. Specifically, gTE ~ 3700 cm-1 was obtained for λ ~ 280-300 nm, which are very challenging for conventional AlGaN QW active region.