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We present a study of the electrical and optical characteristics of 285 nm emission deep ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (LED) at temperatures from 10 to 300 K. At low bias, our data show the tunneling carrier transport to be the dominant conduction mechanism. The room-temperature performance is shown to be limited mostly by poor electron confinement in the active region and a pronounced deep level assisted recombination but not by the hole injection into the active region. At temperatures below 100 K, the electroluminescence peak intensity increases by more than one order of magnitude indicating that with a proper device design and improved material quality, milliwatt power 285 nm LED are viable. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.
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