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High-power light-emitting diodes (LEDs) fabricated on Cu substrates were investigated in this study. The AlGaInP LED structure was bonded to a Cu substrate by using indium-tin-oxide as the diffusion barrier layer. It was found that Cu-substrate-bonded LED devices could be operated in a much higher injection forward current, 800 mA, which was eight times higher than that used in traditional GaAs-substrate LEDs. The luminous intensity of the Cu-substrate LEDs could reach as high as 1230 mcd, which was three times higher than that of the GaAs-substrate LEDs. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.