A GaInN light-emitting diode (LED) that employs a new type of reflector consisting of an array of SiO2 pyramids and a
reflective Ag layer is demonstrated to have enhanced light extraction compared to GaInN LEDs with a planar Ag
reflector. Ray tracing simulations reveal that the pyramid reflector provides 14.1% enhancement in extraction efficiency.
Consistent with the simulation, it is experimentally demonstrated that the GaInN LED employing the pyramid-patterned
Ag reflector shows 13.9% higher light-output compared to the LED with a planar Ag reflector. In addition, the GaInN
LED with pyramid reflector shows uniform light intensity due to current spreading beneath the SiO2 pyramid pattern.
The enhancement is attributed to the appearance of an additional escape cone for light extraction, enabled by the change
in direction of light rays reflected by the 3-dimensional pyramid reflector.
This article discusses possible solutions to limitations in light extraction efficiency of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using new types of triple-layer omni-directional reflectors (ODRs). The ODRs have lower mirror losses than metal reflectors and distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs). High-reflectivity ODRs have been incorporated into AlGaInP LEDs and GaInN LEDs. It is shown that the ODR significantly increases light extraction from ODR-LEDs as compared to reference LEDs employing a DBR or metal reflector. Other examples of innovative concepts to be presented include novel materials with unprecedented low-refractive index, which further enhance the optical properties of ODRs.
Experimental results on a new type of light-emitting device, the light-emitting triode (LET), are presented. The LET is a three-terminal p-n junction device that accelerates carriers in the lateral direction, i.e. parallel to the p-n junction plane, by means of an electric field between two anodes. The lateral field provides additional energy to carriers thereby allowing them to overcome barriers and increasing the carrier injection efficiency into the active region. LETs were fabricated using a ultraviolet LED structure that has an AlGaN/GaN superlattice in the p-type confinement region for high-conductivity 2 dimensional hole gas. LET mesa structures were obtained by standard photolithographic patterning followed by chemically-assisted ion-beam etching using Cl2 and Ar to expose the n-type cladding layer. The n-type contact was fabricated by electron-beam evaporation of Ti/Al/Ni/Au. Ni/Au (50/50 Å) metallization was deposited for both anodes, Anode 1 and Anode 2, and subsequently annealed at 500 oC in an O2 ambient. It is shown that both the current between Anode 1 and the cathode, and the light-output power increase with increasing negative bias to the Anode 2. This is consistent with the expectation that a negative bias to the second anode allows carriers to acquire a high kinetic energy thereby enabling them to overcome the barrier for holes, resulting in high injection efficiency into the active region that lies beyond the barrier.
Enhancement of light extraction in GaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs) employing omnidirectional reflectors (ODRs) is presented. The ODR consists of GaN, ITO nanorod low-refractive-index layer, and an Ag layer. An array of ITO nanorods is deposited by oblique-angle deposition using e-beam evaporation. The refractive index of the ITO nanorods is 1.34 at 461 nm, significantly lower that that of dense ITO, which is n = 2.06 at 461 nm. It is experimentally shown that the GaN LED with GaN/ITO nanorods/Ag ODR show much better electrical properties and higher light-extraction efficiency than LEDs with Ag contact. This is attributed to enhanced reflectivity of the ODR by using an ITO low-refractive-index layer with high transparency, high conductivity, and low refractive index.
The junction temperature of red (AlGaInP), green (GaInN), blue (GaInN), and ultraviolet (GaInN) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is measured using the temperature coefficients of the diode forward voltage and of the emission-peak energy. The junction temperature increases linearly with DC current as the current is increased from 10 mA to 100 mA. For comparison, the emission-peak-shift method is also used to measure the junction temperature. The emission-peak-shift method is in good agreement with the forward-voltage method. The carrier temperature is measured by the high-energy-slope method, which is found to be much higher than the lattice temperature at the junction. Analysis of the experimental methods reveals that the forward-voltage method is the most sensitive and its accuracy is estimated to be ± 3°C. The peak position of the spectra is influenced by alloy broadening, polarization, and quantum confined Stark effect thereby limiting the accuracy of the emission-peak-shift method to ±15°C. A detailed analysis of the temperature dependence of a tri-chromatic white LED source (consisting of three types of LEDs) is performed. The analysis reveals that the chromaticity point shifts towards the blue, the color-rendering index (CRI) decreases, the color temperature increases, and the luminous efficacy decreases as the junction temperature increases. A high CRI > 80 can be maintained, by adjusting the LED power so that the chromaticity point is conserved.
An electrically conductive omnidirectional reflector (ODR) is demonstrated as p-type ohmic contact for an AlGaInP light-emitting diode (LED). The ODR comprises the semiconductor, a metal layer and an intermediate low-refractive index dielectric layer. The SiO2 dielectric layer, located between a GaP and a silver layer, is perforated by an array of AuZn micro-contacts thus enabling electrical conductivity. It is shown that the ODR-LED has a significantly higher light-extraction efficiency as compared to LEDs employing distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs). For devices emitting in the red wavelength range, external quantum efficiencies of 18 % and 11 % are obtained for ODR- and DBR-LEDs, respectively. The performance of the ODR-LED can be further increased by replacing the SiO2 dielectric with materials having a refractive index << 1.45. Performance characteristics of such powerful reflectors will be presented.