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Combined electrical and resonant optical excitation characterization of multi-quantum well InGaN-based light-emitting diodes
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We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra and electrical characteristics of InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well light-emitting diode
(LED) structures under resonant optical pumping and varying electrical bias. A 5 quantum well
LED with a thin well (1.5 nm) and a relatively thick barrier (6.6 nm) shows strong bias-dependent properties in the emission spectra, poor photovoltaic carrier escape under forward bias and an increase in effective resistance when compared with a 10 quantum well
LED with a thin (4 nm) barrier. These properties are due to a strong piezoelectric field in the well and associated reduced field in the thicker barrier. We compare the voltage ideality factors for the LEDs under electrical injection, light emission with current, photovoltaic mode (PV) and photoluminescence
(PL) emission. The PV and PL methods provide similar values for the ideality which are lower than for the resistance-limited electrical method. Under optical pumping the presence of an n-type InGaN underlayer in a commercial LED sample is shown to act as a second photovoltaic source reducing the photovoltage and the extracted ideality factor to less than 1. The use of photovoltaic measurements together with bias-dependent spectrally resolved luminescence is a powerful method to provide valuable insights into the dynamics of GaN LEDs.
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