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The crystal quality, electrical and optical properties of GaN based light emitting diodes(LEDs) with ex-situ sputteredphysical vapor deposition(PVD) aluminum nitride (AlN)nucleation layers were investigated. It was found that the crystal quality in terms of defect density and x-ray diffraction linewidth was greatly improved in comparison to LEDs with in-situ low temperature GaNnucleation layer. The light output power was 3.7% increased and the reverse bias voltage of leakage current was twice on LEDs with ex-situ PVDAlNnucleation layers. However, larger compressive strain was discovered in LEDs with ex-situ PVDAlNnucleation layers. The study shows the potential and constrain in applying ex-situ PVDAlNnucleation layers to fabricate high quality GaN crystals in various optoelectronics.


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