Submicrometre resolved optical characterization of green nanowire-based light emitting diodes.

Research paper by A L AL Bavencove, G G Tourbot, J J Garcia, Y Y Désières, P P Gilet, F F Levy, B B André, B B Gayral, B B Daudin, Le Si le S Dang

Indexed on: 29 Jul '11Published on: 29 Jul '11Published in: Nanotechnology


The electroluminescent properties of InGaN/GaN nanowire-based light emitting diodes (LEDs) are studied at different resolution scales. Axial one-dimensional heterostructures were grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) directly on a silicon (111) substrate and consist of the following sequentially deposited layers: n-type GaN, three undoped InGaN/GaN quantum wells, p-type AlGaN electron blocking layer and p-type GaN. From the macroscopic point of view, the devices emit light in the green spectral range (around 550 nm) under electrical injection. At 100 mA DC current, a 1 mm2 chip that integrates around 10(7) nanowires emits an output power on the order of 10 µW. However, the emission of the nanowire-based LED shows a spotty and polychromatic emission. By using a confocal microscope, we have been able to improve the spatial resolution of the optical characterizations down to the submicrometre scale that can be assessed to a single nanowire. Detailed μ-electroluminescent characterization (emission wavelength and output power) over a representative number of single nanowires provides new insights into the vertically integrated nanowire-based LED operation. By combining both μ-electroluminescent and μ-photoluminescent excitation, we have experimentally shown that electrical injection failure is the major source of losses in these nanowire-based LEDs.