AlGaN-based deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (LEDs) incorporating uneven multiple quantum wells (MQWs) with inclined and terrace zones, which were fabricated on an AlN template with dense macrosteps, have exhibited a high internal quantum efficiency (IQE). To investigate the microscopic structure of uneven MQWs, cathodoluminescence (CL) mapping characterization was carried out, and the maps of the CL intensity at 300 K relative to that at 38 K were obtained for uneven MQWs that targeted 265 and 285 nm LEDs. At an electron beam current of less than 1.0 nA, the signals from inclined and terrace zones of the uneven MQWs were confirmed to satisfy the nonsaturated excitation condition at 300 K. Nonradiative recombination (NR) was insufficiently frozen even at 38 K, specifically on the terraces in the 265 nm MQW, suggesting high concentrations of NR centers due to point defects (PDs). In contrast, NR in the 285 nm MQW at 38 K was closer to freeze-out. The concentration of PDs in the 285 nm MQW was likely to be lower than that in the 265 nm MQW. Finally, the ratios of the CL intensity at 300 K to those at 38 K were mapped, demonstrating an approach to creating an approximate map of IQE. The values in the CL intensity ratio maps are discussed by considering the analytical error factors. The results support the model of localized current injection through Ga-rich stripe zones in the n-AlGaN cladding layer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)