We report on the fabrication and characterisation gallium nitride light emitting diodes (LEDs) grown by molecular beam epitaxy on (0001) oriented sapphire and (111)B GaAs substrates. The current voltage characteristics of the devices grown on sapphire show turn on voltages of between 4 and 5V with large on-series resistance of 600Ω; for corresponding devices grown on GaAs these parameters are between 6 and 7V and 150 Ω, respectively.
Room temperature electroluminescence (EL) spectra from the GaN LEDs ,grown on sapphire substrates, show a dominant emission at 3.2 eV (397nm) with a full width half maximum (FWHM) of 335 meV which is attributed to free electron to acceptor transitions (e, A−Mg). A broad low intensity deep level emission is also observed centred at 2.4 eV (506nm). The peak of the EL from the devices grown on GaAs is at 3.1eV rather than 3.2eV. The differences between the two sets of devices are probably caused by the different device geometry.
Preliminary results show that an “annealing” effect caused by electrical stressing resulted in an improvement of the EL spectra. The stressed samples show an increase in the near band edge emission intensity, a 20meV reduction in the FWHM and a significant reduction in the intensity of the deep level emission. The devices have a large 1/f noise contribution which does not appear to change after electrical stressing.