Green light emitting diodes and laser diodes grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition
Lochner, Zachary Meyer
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This thesis describes the development of III-Nitride materials for light emitting applications. The goals of this research were to create and optimize a green light emitting diode (LED) and laser diode (LD). Metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) was the technique used to grow the epitaxial structures for these devices. The active regions of III-Nitride based LEDs are composed of InₓGa₁₋ₓN, the bandgap of which can be tuned to attain the desired wavelength depending on the percent composition of Indium. An issue with this design is that the optimal growth temperature of InGaN is lower than that of GaN, making the growth temperature of the top p-layers critical to the device performance. Thus, an InGaN:Mg layer was used as the hole injection and p-contact layers for a green led, which can be grown at a lower temperature than GaN:Mg in order to maintain the integrity of the active region. However, the use of InGaN comes with its own set of drawbacks, specifically the formation of V-defects. Several methods were investigated to suppress these defects such as graded p-layers, short period supper lattices, and native GaN substrates. As a result, LEDs emitting at ~532 nm were realized. The epitaxial structure for a III-Nitride LD is more complicated than that of an LED, and so it faces many of the same technical challenges and then some. Strain engineering and defect reduction were the primary focuses of optimization in this study. Superlattice based cladding layers, native GaN substrates, InGaN waveguides, and doping optimization were all utilized to lower the probability of defect formation. This thesis reports on the realization of a 454 nm LD, with higher wavelength devices to follow the same developmental path.