Abstract

Resonant-cavity light-emitting diodes (RCLEDs) with multiple InGaN/GaN quantum wells have been grown on sapphire substrates. The emission was through the substrate, and the top contact consisted of a highly reflecting Pd/Ag metallization. The peak emission wavelength was measured to be 490 nm. Under constant current biasing, the intensity was observed to fluctuate irregularly accompanied by correlated variations in the voltage. To investigate this further, emission from the RCLED was focused through a GaAs wafer onto a Vidicon camera. This gave a series of infrared, near-field images, spectrally integrated over a wavelength range from 870 nm to 1.9 µm. Flashes from point sources on the RCLED surface were observed, indicating that short-lived, highly localized “hot spots” were being formed that generated pulses of thermal radiation. It is proposed that this phenomenon results from the migration of metal into nanopipes present in this material. The filled pipes form short circuits that subsequently fuse and are detected by bursts of infrared radiation that are recorded in real time.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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References

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36th Reliability Physics Symposium

D.L. Barton, M. Osinski, P. Perlin, P. G. Eliseev, and J. Lee, �??Degradation of single-quantum well InGaN green light emitting diodes under high electrical stress,�?? in Proceedings of the 36th Reliability Physics Symposium (IEEE, New Jersey, 1998), pp. 119-123.

3rd International Conf. on Novel Appl.

M. Leszczynski, �??Optoelectronic devices based on (AlGaIn)N structures on GaN crystals,�?? in Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Novel Applications of Wide Bandgap Layers (IEEE, New Jersey, 2001), pp. 65-66.

Appl. Phys. Lett.

P. R. Tavernier, E. V. Etzkorn, Y. Wang, and D. R. Clarke, �??Two-step growth of high quality GaN by hydride vapor-phase epitaxy,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 1804-1806 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Compound Semiconductor

�??Wide-bandgap materials,�?? Cover Story, Compound Semiconductor 8(6), 41-55 (2002).

Electron. Device Lett.

X.A. Cao, E.B. Stokes, P. M. Sandvik, S. F. LeBoeuf, J. Kretchmer, and D. Walker, �??Diffusion and tunneling currents in GaN/InGaN multiple quantum well light-emitting diodes,�?? Electron. Device Lett. 23, 535-537 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Electron. Lett.

G. Koley, H. Kim, L. F. Eastman, and M.G. Spencer, �??Electrical bias stress related degradation of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs,�?? Electron. Lett. 39, 1217-1218 (2003).
[CrossRef]

H. Kim, H. Yang, C. Huh, S.-W. Kim, S.-J. Park, and H. Hwang, �??Electromigration-induced failure of GaN multi-quantum well light emitting diode,�?? Electron. Lett. 36, 908-910 (2000).
[CrossRef]

R. Behtash, H. Tobler, M. Neuburger, A. Schurr, H. Leier, Y. Cordier, F. Semond, F. Natali, and J. Massies, �??AlGaN/GaN HEMTs on Si(111) with 6.6 W/mm output power density,�?? Electron. Lett. 39, 626- 627 (2003).
[CrossRef]

IEEE

R.F. Davis, A.M. Roskowski, E.A. Preble, J.S. Speck, B. Heying, J.A. Freitas Jr., E.R. Glaser, and W.E. Carlos, �??Gallium nitride materials�??progress, status, and potential roadblocks,�?? Proc. IEEE 90, 993-1005 (2002).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Laser and Electro-Optics

R. F. Davis, O. H. Nam, M. D. Bremser, and T. Zheleva, �??Lateral epitaxial overgrowth of and defect reduction in GaN thin films,�?? in Proceedings of the Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Annual Meeting (IEEE Laser and Electro-Optics Society, New Jersey, 1998), Vol. 1, pp. 360-361.

Intern Symposium on Optical Memory & Opt

M. Shinoda, K. Saito, T. Kondo, T. Ishimoto, and A. Nakaoki, �??High density near field readout over 50 GB capacity using a solid immersion lens with high refractive index,�?? in Proceedings of the International Symposium on Optical Memory and Optical Data Storage (IEEE Laser and Electro-Optics Society, New Jersey, 2002), pp. 284-286.
[CrossRef]

Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.

T. Mukai, �??Recent progress in group-III nitride light-emitting diodes,�?? Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 8, 264- 270 (2002).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Schematic of sample structure.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

LI curve for circular contact RCLED showing unstable light output.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Near-field image of sample B (a), before and (b), after degradation.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Setup for imaging the thermal signatures of defect-related short circuits on circular contact RCLEDs. Because of the GaAs wafer, the green emission is blocked and the only wavelengths reaching the camera were infrared, between 870 nm and 1.9 µm.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Device A has transient hot spots that flash for less than 1 s. Dashed circles have been drawn in to represent the outline of the device [432 kB]. The movie shows that flashes start after ~24 s.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

(a) Typical 1×1 µm AFM image of GaN surface before degradation, showing open core dislocation density on the order of 3×109 cm-2 and curved growth ledges. (b) SEM image after degradation and metal removal, showing large-scale surface pitting near the edge of the p metallization.

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