AlGaN deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes grown on SiC substrates

Burhan K. SaifAddin, Abdullah S. Almogbel, Christian J. Zollner, Feng Wu, Bastien Bonef, Michael Iza, Shuji Nakamura, Steven P. DenBaars, James S. Speck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The disinfection industry would greatly benefit from efficient, robust, high-power deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV–C LEDs). However, the performance of UV–C AlGaN LEDs is limited by poor light-extraction efficiency (LEE) and the presence of a large density of threading dislocations. We demonstrate high power AlGaN LEDs grown on SiC with high LEE and low threading dislocation density. We employ a crack-free AlN buffer layer with low threading dislocation density and a technique to fabricate thin-film UV LEDs by removing the SiC substrate, with a highly selective SF6 etch. The LEDs (278 nm) have a turn-on voltage of 4.3 V and a CW power of 8 mW (82 mW/mm2) and external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 1.8% at 95 mA. KOH submicron roughening of the AlN surface (nitrogen-polar) and improved p-contact reflectivity are found to be effective in improving the LEE of UV light. We estimate the improved LEE by semiempirical calculations to be 33% (without encapsulation). This work establishes UV LEDs grown on SiC substrates as a viable architecture to large-area, high-brightness, and high-power UV LEDs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Photonics
StatePublished - Jan 27 2020
Externally publishedYes


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