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Ga-Doped ZnO Transparent Conductive Oxide Films Applied to GaN-Based Light-Emitting Diodes for Improving Light Extraction Efficiency

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4 Author(s)
Jinn-Kong Sheu ; Inst. of Electro-Opt. Sci. Eng. & the Center for Micro/Nano Sci. & Technol., Nat. Cheng Kung Univ. (NCKU), Tainan ; Ming-Lun Lee ; Lu, Y.S. ; Shu, K.W.

In this study, Ga-doped ZnO (GZO) thin films were deposited on a sapphire substrate utilizing a magnetron sputtering approach. ZnO and Ga2O3 targets were employed as the sputtering sources during a cosputtering deposition. After thermal annealing in nitrogen ambient conditions, the electrical resistivity and optical transparency of the GZO films were analyzed in detail. The GZO films exhibited high transparency (~90%) in visible light and low resistivity (~5.3 x 10-4Omega-cm) when they were annealed at a temperature of 600-800deg C. Although the utilization of indium tin oxide (ITO) serving as the transparent contact layer (TCL) in conventional GaN-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is a well accepted technology, ZnO-based TCLs with a high refractive index of around 2.0 would render another advantage when a roughening process is performed on the surface. In other words, since packaged LEDs are generally encapsulated using epoxy with a refractive index of around 1.5, surface roughening performed on ITO TCL would thus result in only a minor improvement in light extraction because the typical refractive index of an ITO film prepared by our e-beam evaporator is around 1.7. In this study, GaN-based LEDs that utilized ITO/GZO composite oxide films as a TCL were also demonstrated. The light output power of an LED (LED-C) with a textured ITO/GZO composite TCL is markedly improved by 42 % and 48 % of magnitude as compared to LEDs with a planar GZO TCL (LED-A) and a ITO/GZO composite TCL (LED-B), respectively. This enhancement is due to the fact that a ZnO-based TCL with a higher refractive index (n~2.0) allows further enhancement of light extraction through the creation of a textured structure on the TCL that is deposited on the top surface of LEDs.

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Dec. 2008

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