Spatially-resolved optical and structural properties of semi-polar (112¯2) Al x Ga1−x N with x up to 0.56

Jochen Bruckbauer, Zhi Li, G. Naresh-Kumar, Monika Warzecha, Paul R. Edwards, Ling Jiu, Yipin Gong, Jie Bai, Tao Wang, Carol Trager-Cowan & Robert W. Martin
Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 10804 (2017)

Abstract

Pushing the emission wavelength of efficient ultraviolet (UV) emitters further into the deep-UV requires material with high crystal quality, while also reducing the detrimental effects of built-in electric fields. Crack-free semi-polar (112¯2) Al x Ga1−x N epilayers with AlN contents up to x = 0.56 and high crystal quality were achieved using an overgrowth method employing GaN microrods on m-sapphire. Two dominant emission peaks were identified using cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging. The longer wavelength peak originates near and around chevron-shaped features, whose density is greatly increased for higher contents. The emission from the majority of the surface is dominated by the shorter wavelength peak, influenced by the presence of basal-plane stacking faults (BSFs). Due to the overgrowth technique BSFs are bunched up in parallel stripes where the lower wavelength peak is broadened and hence appears slightly redshifted compared with the higher quality regions in-between. Additionally, the density of threading dislocations in these region is one order of magnitude lower compared with areas affected by BSFs as ascertained by electron channelling contrast imaging. Overall, the luminescence properties of semi-polar AlGaN epilayers are strongly influenced by the overgrowth method, which shows that reducing the density of extended defects improves the optical performance of high AlN content AlGaN structures.

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Monolithically multi-color lasing from an InGaN microdisk on a Si substrate

M. Athanasiou, R. M. Smith, J. Pugh, Y. Gong, M. J. Cryan & T. Wang
Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 10086 (2017)

Abstract

An optically pumped multi-color laser has been achieved using an InGaN/GaN based micro-disk with an undercut structure on a silicon substrate. The micro-disk laser has been fabricated by means of a combination of a cost-effective microsphere lithography technique and subsequent dry/wet etching processes. The microdisk laser is approximately 1 μm in diameter. The structure was designed in such a way that the vertical components of the whispering gallery (WG) modes formed can be effectively suppressed. Consequently, three clean lasing peaks at 442 nm, 493 nm and 522 nm have been achieved at room temperature by simply using a continuous-wave diode laser as an optical pumping source. Time–resolved micro photoluminescence (PL) measurements have been performed in order to further confirm the lasing by investigating the excitonic recombination dynamics of these lasing peaks. A three dimensional finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD) simulation has been used for the structure design.

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Polarized white light from hybrid organic/III-nitrides grating structures

M. Athanasiou, R. M. Smith, S. Ghataora & T. Wang
Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 39677 (2017)

Abstract

Highly polarised white light emission from a hybrid organic/inorganic device has been achieved. The hybrid devices are fabricated by means of combining blue InGaN-based multiple quantum wells (MQWs) with a one-dimensional (1D) grating structure and down-conversion F8BT yellow light emitting polymer. The 1D grating structure converts the blue emission from unpolarised to highly polarised; Highly polarised yellow emission has been achieved from the F8BT polymer filled and aligned along the periodic nano-channels of the grating structure as a result of enhanced nano-confinement. Optical polarization measurements show that our device demonstrates a polarization degree of up to 43% for the smallest nano-channel width. Furthermore, the hybrid device with such a grating structure allows us to achieve an optimum relative orientation between the dipoles in the donor (i.e., InGaN/GaN MQWs) and the diploes in the acceptor (i.e., the F8BT), maximizing the efficiency of non-radiative energy transfer (NRET) between the donor and the acceptor. Time–resolved micro photoluminescence measurements show a 2.5 times enhancement in the NRET efficiency, giving a maximal NRET efficiency of 90%. It is worth highlighting that the approach developed paves the way for the fabrication of highly polarized white light emitters.

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Topical Review: Development of overgrown semi-polar GaN for high efficiency green/yellow emission

T Wang
Semicond. Sci. Technol. 31, 093003 (2016)

Abstract

The most successful example of large lattice-mismatched epitaxial growth of semiconductors is the growth of III-nitrides on sapphire, leading to the award of the Nobel Prize in 2014 and great success in developing InGaN-based blue emitters. However, the majority of achievements in the field of III-nitride optoelectronics are mainly limited to polar GaN grown on c-plane (0001) sapphire. This polar orientation poses a number of fundamental issues, such as reduced quantum efficiency, efficiency droop, green and yellow gap in wavelength coverage, etc. To date, it is still a great challenge to develop longer wavelength devices such as green and yellow emitters. One clear way forward would be to grow III-nitride device structures along a semi-/non-polar direction, in particular, a semi-polar orientation, which potentially leads to both enhanced indium incorporation into GaN and reduced quantum confined Stark effects. This review presents recent progress on developing semi-polar GaN overgrowth technologies on sapphire or Si substrates, the two kinds of major substrates which are cost-effective and thus industry-compatible, and also demonstrates the latest achievements on electrically injected InGaN emitters with long emission wavelengths up to and including amber on overgrown semi-polar GaN. Finally, this review presents a summary and outlook on further developments for semi-polar GaN based optoelectronics.

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(11-22) semipolar InGaN emitters from green to amber on overgrown GaN on micro-rod templates

J. Bai, B. Xu, F. G. Guzman, K. Xing, Y. Gong, Y. Hou and T. Wang
Appl. Phys. Lett. 107, 261103 (2015)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4939132

Abstract

We demonstrate semipolar InGaN single-quantum-well light emitting diodes(LEDs) in the green, yellow-green, yellow and amber spectral region. The LEDs are grown on our overgrown semipolar (11-22) GaN on micro-rod array templates, which are fabricated on (11-22) GaN grown on m-plane sapphire. Electroluminescence measurements on the (11-22) green LED show a reduced blue-shift in the emission wavelength with increasing driving current, compared to a reference commercial c-plane LED. The blue-shifts for the yellow-green and yellow LEDs are also significantly reduced. All these suggest an effective suppression in quantum confined Stark effect in our (11-22) LEDs. On-wafer measurements yield a linear increase in the light output with the current, and external quantum efficiency demonstrates a significant improvement in the efficiency-droop compared to a commercial c-plane LED. Electro-luminescence polarization measurements show a polarization ratio of about 25% in our semipolar LEDs.

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Hybrid III-Nitride/Organic Semiconductor Nanostructure with High Efficiency Nonradiative Energy Transfer for White Light Emitters

R. Smith, B. Liu, J. Bai, and T. Wang
Nano Lett., 2013, 13 (7), pp 3042–3047
doi: 10.1021/nl400597d

Abstract

A novel hybrid inorganic/organic semiconductor nanostructure has been developed, leading to very efficient nonradiative resonant-energy-transfer (RET) between blue emitting InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) and a yellow light emitting polymer. The utilization of InGaN/GaN nanorod arrays allows for both higher optical performance of InGaN blue emission and a minimized separation between the InGaN/GaN MQWs and the emitting polymer as a color conversion medium. A significant reduction in decay lifetime of the excitons in the InGaN/GaN MQWs of the hybrid structure has been observed as a result of the nonradiative RET from the nitride emitter to the yellow polymer. A detailed calculation has demonstrated that the efficiency of the nonradiative RET is as high as 73%. The hybrid structure exhibits an extremely fast nonradiative RET with a rate of 0.76 ns–1, approximately three times higher than the InGaN/GaN MQW nonradiative decay rate of 0.26 ns–1. It means that the RET dominates the nonradiative processes in the nitride quantum well structure, which can further enhance the overall device performance.

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Room temperature plasmonic lasing in a continuous wave operation mode from an InGaN/GaN single nanorod with a low threshold.

Hou Y, Renwick P, Liu B, Bai J, Wang T.
Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5014 (2014)
doi: 10.1038/srep05014.

Abstract

It is crucial to fabricate nano photonic devices such as nanolasers in order to meet the requirements for the integration of photonic and electronic circuits on the nanometre scale. The great difficulty is to break down a bottleneck as a result of the diffraction limit of light. Nanolasers on a subwavelength scale could potentially be fabricated based on the principle of surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (SPASER). However, a number of technological challenges will have to be overcome in order to achieve a SPASER with a low threshold, allowing for a continuous wave (cw) operation at room temperature. We report a nano-SPASER with a record low threshold at room temperature, optically pumped by using a cw diode laser. Our nano-SPASER consists of a single InGaN/GaN nanorod on a thin SiO2 spacer layer on a silver film. The nanorod containing InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-wells is fabricated by means of a cost-effective post-growth fabrication approach. The geometry of the nanorod/dielectric spacer/plasmonic metal composite allows us to have accurate control of the surface plasmon coupling, offering an opportunity to determine the optimal thickness of the dielectric spacer. This approach will open up a route for further fabrication of electrically injected plasmonic lasers.

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Room temperature continuous–wave green lasing from an InGaN microdisk on silicon

M. Athanasiou, R. Smith, , B. Liu  & T. Wang
Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 7250 (2014)
doi:10.1038/srep07250

Abstract

Optically pumped green lasing with an ultra low threshold has been achieved using an InGaN/GaN based micro-disk with an undercut structure on silicon substrates. The micro-disks with a diameter of around 1 μm were fabricated by means of a combination of a cost-effective silica micro-sphere approach, dry-etching and subsequent chemical etching. The combination of these techniques both minimises the roughness of the sidewalls of the micro-disks and also produces excellent circular geometry. Utilizing this fabrication process, lasing has been achieved at room temperature under optical pumping from a continuous-wave laser diode. The threshold for lasing is as low as 1 kW/cm2. Time–resolved micro photoluminescence (PL) and confocal PL measurements have been performed in order to further confirm the lasing action in whispering gallery modes and also investigate the excitonic recombination dynamics of the lasing.

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