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Influence of Defects on Current Transport in GaN/InGaN Multiple Quantum Well Light-Emitting Diodes

  • X. A. Cao (a1), E. B. Stokes (a1), S. F. LeBoeuf (a1), P. M. Sandvik (a1), J. Kretchmer (a1) and D. Walker (a1)...


We have studied the electrical and optical characteristics GaN/InGaN based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) grown on sapphire using metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Strong correlation has been found between material quality and the mechanism of current transport through the wide-bandgap p-n junction. Tunneling behavior dominates throughout all injection regimes in the devices with high-density defects in the space-charge region, which act as deep-level carrier traps. The approximately current-squared dependence of light output at low currents indicates dominant nonradiative recombination in the active region. However, in a high quality LED diode, tunneling current is only a major contributor at low forward biases. At moderate biases, temperature dependent diffusion-recombination current has been identified as I0 exp(qV/1.6kT). In these devices, nonradiative recombination centers are saturated at current densities as low as 1.4×10-2 A/cm2.



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