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Zinc oxide microwires improve the performance of light-emitting diodes
Date:10/31/2011

tion with the zinc oxide wire.

A sapphire substrate was used as the cathode that was placed side-by-side with the gallium nitride substrate with a well-controlled gap. The wire was placed across the gap in close contact with the gallium nitride. Transparent polystyrene tape was used to cover the nanowire. A force was then applied to the tape by an alumina rod connected to a piezo nanopositioning stage, creating the strain in the wire.

The researchers then studied the change in light emission produced by varying the amount of strain in 20 different devices. Half of the devices showed enhanced efficiency, while the others fabricated with the opposite orientation of the microwires showed a decrease. This difference was due to the reversal in the sign of the piezopotential because of the switch of the microwire orientation from +c to c.

High-efficiency ultraviolet emitters are needed for applications in chemical, biological, aerospace, military and medical technologies. Although the internal quantum efficiencies of these LEDs can be as high as 80 percent, the external efficiency for a conventional single p-n junction thin-film LED is currently only about three percent.

Beyond LEDs, Wang believes the approach pioneered in this study can be applied to other optical devices that are controlled by electrical fields.

"This opens up a new field of using the piezoelectric effect to tune opto-electronic devices," Wang said. "Improving the efficiency of LED lighting could ultimately be very important, bringing about significant energy savings because so much of the world's energy is used for lighting."


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Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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