Chip-Scale Droop-Free Fin Light-Emitting Diodes Using Facet-Selective Contacts

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Sub-micron-size light sources are currently extremely dim, achieving nanowatt output powers due to the current density and temperature droop. Recently, we reported a droop-free fin light-emitting diode (LED) pixel that at high current densities becomes a laser with record output power in the microwatt range. Here, we show a scalable method for selectively metallizing fins via their nonpolar side facet that allows electrical injection to sub-200 nm wide n-ZnO fins on p-GaN with at least 0.8 μm2 active area. Electrically addressable fin LEDs are fabricated in a linear array format using standard 2 μm resolution photolithography. Electroluminescence analysis across different pixels shows that the fin acts as the active region of the LED and generates a narrow-band ultraviolet emission between ≈368 and ≈390 nm. Investigating fins at high current densities, ranging from 100 to 2000 kA/cm2, shows that their emission increases without any decline even as the junction temperature reaches a range of 200-340 °C. The absence of electron leakage to p-GaN at high injection levels and an undetectable electron-hole escape from the fin at high temperatures indicate that the fin shape is highly efficient in controlling the nonradiative recombination pathways such as Auger recombination. The fin LED geometry is expected to enable the realization of high-brightness arrays of light sources at sub-micron-size regimes suitable for operation at high temperatures and high current densities.