We report on the design and study of solid state laser sources for lighting applications. While LEDs are affected by droop, limiting efficacy at higher currents, a possible solution is represented by solid state laser lighting, where a blue (450nm) laser is exciting a luminescent material thus achieving white light. With this work we designed and tested several LARP (Laser-Activated-Remote-Phosphors) test structures, both diffused lighting and focused applications will be discussed. Results indicates that good efficiency are achievable, without any sensible droop also at high injection currents. Phosphors have also been subjected to thermal stability tests up to 550°C.
This paper reports on an extensive investigation on the degradation mechanisms that may limit the long term reliability of heterogeneous III-V/Silicon DBR laser diodes for integrated telecommunication applications in the 1.55 μm window. The devices under test, aged for up to 500 hours under different bias conditions, showed a gradual variation of both optical (L-I) and electrical (I-V, C-V) characteristics. In particular, the laser diodes exhibited an increase in the threshold current, a decrease of the turn-on voltage and an increase in the apparent charge density within the space-charge region, which was extrapolated from C-V measurements. For longer stress times, these two latter processes were found to be well correlated with the worsening of the optical parameters, which suggests that degradation occurred due to an increase in the density of defects within the active region, with consequent decrease in the non-radiative (SRH) lifetime. This conclusion is also supported by the fact that during stress the apparent charge profiles indicated a re-distribution of charge within the junction. A preliminary investigation on the physical origin of the defects responsible for degradation was carried out by DLTS measurements, which revealed the presence of five different deep levels, with a main trap located around 0.43 eV above the valence band energy. This trap was found to be compatible with an interface defect located between the In<sub>0.53</sub>Al<sub>x</sub>Ga<sub>0.47-x</sub>As SCH region and the InP layer.
This paper demonstrates that when InGaN LEDs are submitted to a constant reverse bias, they can show a time-dependent breakdown, that leads to the catastrophic failure of the devices. By submitting green and blue LEDs to constant voltage stress in the range between -40 V and -60 V we demonstrate that: (i) under reverse bias conditions, current is focused on localized paths, whose positions can be identified by electroluminescence measurements, and that originate from the presence of extended defects; (ii) during a constant voltage stress, the reverse current of the LEDs gradually increases; (iii) for longer stress times, all devices show a time-dependent breakdown; (iv) time-to-failure has an exponential dependence on stress voltage, and is Weibull-distributed.
This paper critically reviews the most relevant failure modes and mechanisms of InGaN LEDs for lighting application. At chip level, both the epitaxial heterostructure and the ohmic contacts may be affected. This may result in: (i) the formation of defects within the active region, resulting in the increase of non-radiative recombination and leakage current, (ii) the reduction of the injection efficiency consequent to increased trap-assisted tunneling, (iii) the degradation of contact resistance with increase of forward voltage. Package-related failures – not described in this paper - include
(iv) thermally-activated degradation processes, affecting the yellow phosphors, the plastic package or the encapsulating materials and (v) darkening of the Ag package reflective coating, the latter due to chemical reaction with contaminants as Cl or S. In order to enucleate and study the different physical failure mechanisms governing device degradation, single quantum well (SQW) blue LEDs, InGaN laser structures and commercially-available white LEDs to high temperature and/or high current density have been submitted to accelerated testing at high temperature and high current density.