Date of Award
MS in Engineering - Materials Engineering
Richard N. Savage
Previous research in InGaN/GaN light emitting diodes (LEDs) employing semi-classical drift-diffusion models has used reduced polarization constants without much physical explanantion. This paper investigates possible physical explanations for this effective polarization reduction in InGaN LEDs through the use of the simulation software SiLENSe. One major problem of current LED simulations is the assumption of perfectly discrete transitions between the quantum well (QW) and blocking layers when experiments have shown this to not be the case. The In concentration profile within InGaN multiple quantum well (MQW) devices shows much smoother and delayed transitions indicative of indium diffusion and drift during common atomic deposition techniques (e.g. molecular beam epitaxy, chemical vapor deposition). In this case the InGaN square QW approximation may not be valid in modeling the devices' true electronic behavior. A simulation of a 3QW InGaN/GaN LED heterostructure with an AlGaN electron blocking layer is discussed in this paper. Polarization coefficients were reduced to 70% and 40% empirical values to simulate polarization shielding effects. QW shapes of square (3 nm), trapezoidal, and triangular profiles were used to simulate realistic QW shapes. The J-V characteristic and electron-hole wavefunctions of each device were monitored. Polarization reduction decreased the onset voltage from 4.0 V to 3.0 V while QW size reduction decreased the onset voltage from 4.0 V to 3.5 V. The increased current density in both cases can be attributed to increased wavefunction overlap in the QWs.