Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Hadis Morkoc


In the past decade, GaN-based nitrides have had a considerable impact in solid state lighting and high speed high power devices. InGaN-based LEDs have been widely used for all types of displays in TVs, computers, cell phones, etc. More and more high power LEDs have also been introduced in general lighting market. Once widely used, such LEDs could lead to the decrease of worldwide electrical consumption for lighting by more than 50% and reduce total electricity consumption by > 10%. However, there are still challenges for current state-of-the art InGaN-based LEDs, including ‘efficiency droop’ issues that cause output power quenching at high current injection levels (> 100 A/cm2). In this dissertation, approaches were investigated to address the major issues related to state-of-the-art nitride LEDs, in particular related to (1) efficiency droop investigations on m-plane and c-plane LEDs: enhanced matrix elements in m-plane LEDs and smaller hole effective mass favors the hole transport across the active region so that m-plane LEDs exhibit 30% higher quantum efficiency and negligible efficiency droop at high injection levels compared to c-plane counterparts; (2) engineering of InGaN active layers for achieving high quantum efficiency and minimal efficiency droop: lower and thinner InGaN barrier enhance hole transport as well as improves the quantum efficiencies at injection levels; (3) double-heterostructure (DH) active regions: various thicknesses were also investigated in order to understand the electron and hole recombination mechanism. We also present that using multi-thin DH active regions is a superior approach to enhance the quantum efficiency compared with simply increasing the single DH thickness or the number of quantum wells (QWs, 2 nm-thick) in multi-QW (MQW) LED structures due to the better material quality and higher density of states. Additionally, increased thickness of stair-case electron injectors (SEIs) has been demonstrated to greatly mitigate electron overflow without sacrificing material quality of the active regions. Finally, approaches to enhance light extraction efficiency including using Ga doped ZnO as the p-GaN contact layer to improve light extraction as well as current spreading was introduced.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2012

Included in

Engineering Commons