TERM PAPER “InGaN semiconductors for warm white light LEDs” LEDs

Sayan Basu MSc Applied Physics IDStudent ID- 11069678 Dept. Of Physics & Energy University of Limerick

1 Physical Function 2. APPLICATION OF InGaN 9 6.2 White LEDs & Phosphor-based LEDs 3 Page 1 3.1 Physics in LED 1. LED TECHNOLOGY 2. INTRODUCTION 1.2 Colour of LED 2. InGaN for white light LED 4. Warm White LED & Other LEDs 5 7 5.Index Title 1. REFERENCES 14 2 .

It was introduced in 1962 as a practical electronic component. UV and infrared wavelengths with a very high brightness. or anode. LEDs represent many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption. it has grown increasingly necessary to shed excess heat to maintain reliability. automotive lighting as well as traffic signals. The invention and development of the high power white light LED led to use for illumination. visible and infrared LEDs were extremely costly. As in other diodes. to the n-side. GaAs. Packages for state-ofthe-art high power LEDs bear little resemblance to early LEDs. light output rose. the electrons and holes 3 Page-1 . so more complex packages have been adapted for efficient heat dissipation. radios. as the light output was not enough to illuminate an area. Charge-carriers—electrons and holes—flow into the junction from electrodes with different voltages. other colours grew widely available and also appeared in appliances and equipment. Rubin Braunstein of the Radio Corporation of America reported on infrared emission from gallium arsenide (GaAs) and other semiconductor alloys in 1955. but not in the reverse direction.whisker detector. while maintaining efficiency and reliability at acceptable levels. and in seven-segment displays.1. which is fast replacing incandescent and fluorescent lighting. improved robustness. but now at present modern versions are available with a visible.1 PHYSICS IN LED: The LED consists of a chip of semiconducting material doped with impurities to create a p-n junction. and releases energy in the form of a photon. The first commercial LEDs were commonly used as replacements for incandescent and neon indicator lamps. and had a little practical use. smaller size and faster switching. Braunstein observed infrared emission generated by simple diode structures using gallium antimonide (GaSb). The Monsanto Company was the first organization to mass produce visible LEDs. first in expensive equipment such as laboratory and electronics test equipment. LEDs are powerful enough for room lighting relatively expensive and require more precious current and heat management than compact fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output. LEDs are used in wide range applications like aviation lighting. In 1907. using a crystal of silicon and a cat’s. then later in such appliances as TVs. Untill 1968. In silicon or germanium diodes. current flows easily from the p-side. using gallium arsenide phosphide in 1968 to produce red LEDs suitable for indicators. When an electron meets a hole. and even watches. calculators. early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light. or cathode. and SiGe alloys at room temperature and at 77 kelvin. longer lifetime. As LED materials technology grew more advanced. telephones. 1. it falls into a lower energy level.J Round of Marconi lab. Readouts in calculators were so small that plastic lenses were built over each digit to make them legible. Later. INTRODUCTION Light emitting diode is a semiconductor light source. Most LEDs were made in the very common 5 mm T1¾ and 3 mm T1 packages. but with rising power output. InP. a phenomenon called electroluminescence was discovered by British experimenter H. The wavelength of the light emitted. These red LEDs were bright enough only for use as indicators. and thus its color depends on the band gap energy of the materials forming the p-n junction.

An LED will begin to emit light when the on voltage is exceeded. while less common. emitting light in a ever-shorter variety of colors. The materials used for the LED have a direct band gap with energies corresponding to near-infrared. visible or near infrared.2: I-V diagram for a diode. LEDs are usually built on an n type substrate. especially GaN/InGaN. Fig. near-ultraviolet light. P type substrates. Typical . because these are radiative indirect band gap materials. occur as well. Many type P-type commercial LEDs. on-voltage on voltages are 2–3 volts Page-2 4 . also use sapphire substrate.recombine by a non-radiative transition which produces no optical emission. with an ele n-type electrode attached to the p-type layer deposited on its surface. Fig 1: The inner workings of an LED LED development began with infrared and red devices made with gallium arsenide Advances in arsenide. This means that much st . Most materials used for LED production have very high refractive indices. materials science have enabled making devices with ever shorter wavelengths. light will be reflected back into the material at the material/air surface interf interface.

the device will emit near-ultraviolet light with wavelengths around 350–370 nm.610-760 nm. visible or near-ultraviolet light. The wavelength of the light emitted.< 1. or anode. especially GaN/InGaN. As in other diodes. with impurities to create a p-n junction. and backed by a reflective layer.AlGaAs. but these devices have not yet reached the level of efficiency and technological maturity of the InGaN-GaN blue/green devices. P-type substrates. occur as well.1. Charge-carriers electrons and electron holes flow into the junction from electrodes with different voltages. instead of alloyed InGaN or AlGaN. The materials used for an LED have a direct band gap with energies corresponding to near-infrared. Due to metamerism. much in the same way a fluorescent light bulb works.1. the light emission can be varied from violet to amber.03 V. But InGaN can be used too for producing warm white light LEDs. Blue LEDs became very popular in late 1990s. also use sapphire substrate. with electrode attached to the p-type layer deposited on its surface. There are some semiconductor materials and their corresponding colours.They have an active region consisting of one or more InGaN quantum wells sandwiched between thicker layers of GaN. the electrons and the holes recombine by a non-radiative transition which produces no optical emission.63-2. AlGaN aluminium gallium nitride of varying AlN fraction can be used to manufacture the cladding and quantum well layers for ultraviolet LEDs. AlGaAs Colour: Red. depends on the band gap energy of the materials forming the p-n junction. If the active quantum well layers are GaN. current flows easily from the p-side.red. and therefore its colour. One is to use individual LEDs that emit three primary colours. There are two primary ways of producing high-intensity white-light using LEDs. an LED consists of a chip of semiconducting material impregnated. to the n-side. because these are indirect band gap materials. GaAsP. or doped. They can be added to existing red and green LEDs to produce the impression of white light. increase the LED efficiency.2 COLOURS OF LEDs: LEDs are made from a variety of inorganic semiconductor materials. Colour: Infrared. it falls into a lower energy level. When an electron meets a hole. The refractive index of the package material should match the index of the semiconductor. LEDs are usually built on an n-type substrate. Material. otherwise the Page-3 5 .1 PHYSICAL FUNCTION Like a normal diode. In Silicon or Germanium diodes. green and blue and then mix all the colours to form white light. By varying the relative InN-GaN fraction in the InGaN quantum wells. Wavelength.>760 nm. Material. The other is to use a phosphor material to convert monochromatic light from a blue or UV LED to broad-spectrum white light. called cladding layers. Voltage. it is possible to have quite different spectra that appear white. GaP Current bright LEDs are based on the wide band gap semiconductors GaN and InGaN. Green LEDs manufactured from the InGaN-GaN system are far more efficient and brighter than green LEDs produced with non-nitride material systems.GaAs. or cathode. LED TECHNOLOGY: 2. and releases energy in the form of a photon. but not in the reverse direction.9. while less common. Voltage. Substrates that are transparent to the emitted wavelength. Many commercial LEDs. 2. though white LEDs today rarely use this principle. Wavelength.

but yields light with better spectral characteristics. The LED chip emits blue light. A new technique developed by coating a blue LED Page-4 6 . giving the white LEDs a more consistent spectrum of white light. The package may be cheap plastic.produced light gets partially reflected back into the semiconductor. part of which is efficiently converted to a broad spectrum centered at about 580 nm (yellow) by the Ce3+:YAG. the resulting mix of blue and yellow light gives the appearance of white. Due to the higher radiative output of the ultraviolet LEDs than of the blue ones. which render color better. but this is only for cosmetic reasons or to improve the contrast ratio. though white LEDs today rarely use this principle. These GaN-based. White LEDs can also be made by coating near ultraviolet (NUV) emitting LEDs with a mixture of high efficiency europium-based red and blue emitting phosphors plus green emitting copper and aluminum doped zinc sulfide (ZnS: Cu. where it gets absorbed and turns into additional heat lowering the efficiency. The newest method used to produce white light LEDs uses no phosphors at all and is based on homoepitaxially grown zinc selenide (ZnSe) on a ZnSe substrate which simultaneously emits blue light from its active region and yellow light from the substrate. Manufacturing variations and varying thicknesses in the phosphor make the LEDs produce light with different color temperatures. the LEDs have to be sorted during manufacture by their actual characteristics.2 WHITE LEDs & PHOSPHOR BASED LEDs: Blue LEDs can be added to existing red and green LEDs to produce the impression of white light. which may be colored. the resulting shade often called "lunar white". Again at the surface from the package to a low refractive index medium like a glass fiber or air total internal reflection is avoided by using a sphere shaped package. Spectrum of a "white" LED clearly showing blue light which is directly emitted by the GaNbased LED (peak at about 465 nanometers) and the more broadband stokes shifted light emitted by the Ce3+:YAG phosphor which extends from around 500 to 700 nanometers. InGaN-active-layer LEDs are covered by a yellowish phosphor coating usually made of cerium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Ce3+:YAG) crystals which have been powdered and bound in a type of viscous adhesive. and anti-reflection coating may be added. the color of the packaging does not substantially affect the color of the light emitted. Al). This is a method analogous to the way fluorescent lamps work. both approaches offer comparable brightness. However the ultraviolet light causes photo degradation to the epoxy resin and many other materials used in LED packaging. so that the light rays hit the surface quite perpendicular. Philips Lumileds patented conformal coating process addresses the issue of varying phosphor thickness. from warm yellowish to cold bluish. with the diode in the center. This approach was developed by Nichia and was used by them from 1996 for manufacturing of white LEDs. and emit blue light of wavelengths between 450 nm to 470 nm blue GaN. The single crystal form of Ce3+:YAG is actually considered a scintillator rather than a phosphor. Since yellow light stimulates the red and green receptors of the eye. as the Stokes shift is larger and more energy is therefore converted to heat. Due to the spectral characteristics of the diode. Most "white" LEDs in production today are based on an InGaN-GaN structure. 2. In 2007 experiments tried to avoid multiple internal reflection by roughening the chip. The pale yellow emission of the Ce3+:YAG can be tuned by substituting the cerium with other rare earth elements such as terbium and gadolinium and can even be further adjusted by substituting some or all of the aluminum in the YAG with gallium. This method is less efficient than the blue LED with YAG:Ce phosphor. the red and green colors of objects in its blue yellow light are not as vivid as in broad-spectrum light. causing manufacturing challenges and shorter lifetimes.

which has up to now been inaccessible for LED and LD technologies. This technique produces a warm. in which the light is being generated.with quantum dots that glow white in response to the blue light from the LED. Fig: Basic design of InGaN LED Page-5 7 . the performance of the devices. Even though dev devices based on this quantum well structure are already being mass produced and are available in the market.3: Spectrum of a white LED clearly showing blue light which is directly emitted by the GaN GaN-based LED and more broadband stokes shifted light emitted by the Ce3+:YAG phosphor which emits at roughly 500–700 nm. is an InGaN/GaN or InGaN/AlGaN quantum well. the mass-produced mechanisms by which this light is generated are poorly understood. 3. white Fig. InGaN FOR WHITE LIGHT LEDs: InGaN-based light emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes (LDs) have great commercial potential due to their ability of working in the short wavelength region. The active region of these devices. and improve with it. it should be possible to improve the structural design. Their applications vary from large area display and displays efficient and long-lasting room lighting (LEDs) to high density memory storage and high lasting high-density definition printing (LDs). yellowish-white light similar to that produced by incandescent bulbs. By improving our understanding of these mechanisms.

Fig: Schematic representation of the polarization field model. through the piezoelectric effect. A tensile biaxial strain is created in the epitaxial samples by means of a specially designed pressure cell. the tensile strain also reduces the strength of the built-in polarization field. The first is dominated by indium fluctuations in the indium layer. However. confinement effects. There is much disagreement between the researches involved in this problem as to which recombination mechanism is responsible for light emission in these devices. For a bulk (or even a thin film) semiconductor. or localization at indium-rich nano-clusters. this simply results in the shrinking of the energy-gap . Fig: The Indium fluctuation model. Deviation from the model can be explained as screening due to doping.Polarization Field Effects versus Indium Fluctuations The analysis of these devices by many researches has brought into focus two different recombination mechanisms. Thus the direction and degree to which the colour shifts informs about the mechanisms that dominate the radiative recombination in structures. Page-6 8 . Biaxial Strain Characterization A unique tool has been developed for the study of the effect of the polarization fields in InGaN Quantum Wells.a red shift of the light emitted. For an LED structure dominated by the polarization field effect. this results in a blue shift of the emitted light. the second is dominated by strong polarization fields induced by biaxial strain in the layer.

What multi-color LEDs offer is not merely another solution of producing white light. the dichromatic white LEDs have the best luminous efficacy (120 lm/W). Hence the method is called multi-colored white LEDs (sometimes referred to as RGB LEDs). WARM WHITE LED & OTHER LEDs: There are two primary ways of producing high intensity white-light using LEDs. it is possible to have quite different spectra that appear white. RGB systems Combined spectral curves for blue. much in the same way a fluorescent light bulb works. and high brightness red solid-state semiconductor LEDs. color rendering capability. Often higher efficiency will mean lower color rendering. Due to metamerism. In principle. and. tri-. green. and blue—and then mix all the colors to produce white light.4. Several key factors that play among these different approaches include color stability. most perceivable colors Page-7 9 . Because its mechanism is involved with electro-optical devices to control the blending and diffusion of different colors. Trichromatic white LEDs are in between. the most common method is to use red. although tetrachromatic white LEDs have excellent color rendering capability. green and blue (RGB). and luminous efficacy. they often have poor luminous efficiency. but the lowest color rendering capability. The other is to use a phosphor material to convert monochromatic light from a blue or UV LED to broad-spectrum white light. Conversely. this mechanism also has higher quantum efficiency in producing white light. yellow-green. and tetrachromatic white LEDs. this approach is little used to produce white lighting. For example. One is to use individual LEDs that emit three primary colors—red. There are several types of multi-colored white LEDs: di-. presenting a trade off between the luminous efficiency and color rendering. having both good luminous efficacy (>70 lm/W) and fair color rendering capability. Nevertheless this method is particularly interesting in many applications because of the flexibility of mixing different colors. FWHM spectral bandwidth is approximately 24–27 nm for all three colors. but is a whole new technique of producing light of different colors. White light can be produced by mixing differently colored light. in principle.

many new package designs aimed at solving this problem have been proposed and efore.can be produced by mixing different amounts of three primary colors. Such problems are not acceptable for industrial usage. These certainly include that this type technical of LED´s emission power decays exponentially with increasing temperature. However. eatest much effort is being spent on optimizing these devices to higher light output and higher operation temperatures. However. the emitted spectrum is broadened. the efficiency can be increased by adapting better package design or adapting by using a more suitable type of phosphor. The greatest barrier to high efficiency is the seemingly unavoidable Stokes energy loss. phosp phosphors of different colors can be employed. Therefore. Philips Lumileds´ patented conformal coating process Page-8 10 . For instance. several technical problems need to be solved. This method involves coating an LED of one color (mostly blue LED made of InGaN) with phosphor of different colors to produce white light. Depending on the color of the original LED. the phosphor method is phosphor-related still the most popular technique for manufacturing high intensity white LEDs. A fraction of the blue light undergoes the Stokes shift being transformed from shorter wavelengths to longer. The design and production of a light source or light fixture using a monochrome emitter with phosphor ght conversion is simpler and cheaper than a complex RGB system. and the majority of high intensity white LEDs presently on the market are manufactured using phosphor light conversion. Phosphor-based LEDs Spectrum of a “white” LED clearly showing blue light which is directly emitted by the GaNbased LED (peak at about 465 nm) and the more broadband Stokes shifted light emitted by the Stokes-shifted 3+ Ce :YAG phosphor which emits at roughly 500 500–700 nm. However. Phosphor based LEDs have a lower efficiency than normal LEDs due to the heat loss from the Stokes shift and also other phosphor related degradation issues. resulting in a substantial change in color stability. effectively increasing the color rendering index (CRI) value of a given LED. If several phosphor layers of distinct colors are applied. multi-color LEDs should have profound influence on the fundamental method which color we use to produce and control light color. the resultant LEDs are called phosphor-based ifferent white LEDs. before this type of LED can truly play a role on the market. their results are now being reproduced by researchers and scientists. and this makes it possible to produce precise dynamic color control as well. As more effort is devoted to investigating this effort technique.

blue LEDs were developed and introduced into the market. The wavelength (chromaticity coordinates) of the generated light of these InGaN-based LEDs shows a strong dependency on the driving current. Al). This application Note is intended to enable the reader to avoid some common design mistakes when using InGaN-LEDs. Due to the higher radiative output of the ultraviolet LEDs than of the blue ones. as shown in Figure 1). but yields light with better spectral characteristics. This special property of InGaN based LEDs must be considered well in advance for new application solutions. Page-9 11 . APPLICATION OF InGaN: Some years ago. Technically the phosphor based white LEDs encapsulate InGaN blue LEDs inside of a phosphor coated epoxy. A common yellow phosphor material is cerium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Ce3+:YAG). Most of the blue and white LEDs use Indium Gallium Nitrite (InGaN) as an epitaxial layer. as the Stokes shift is larger and more energy is therefore converted to heat. giving the white LEDs a more homogeneous white light. which render color better. This is a method analogous to the way fluorescent lamps work. color coordinates must be used. 5. a blue light-emitting die (wavelength 450 nm to 470 nm) is covered with a converter material that is stimulated by blue light and emits a yellow light. Another concern is that UV light may leak from a malfunctioning light source and cause harm to human eyes or skin. To obtain white light. Then.addresses the issue of varying phosphor thickness. White LEDs can also be made by coating near ultraviolet (NUV) emitting LEDs with a mixture of high efficiency europium-based red and blue emitting phosphors plus green emitting copper and aluminium doped zinc sulfide (ZnS:Cu. The human eye detects the mixture of blue and yellow light as white. the efficiency of phosphor based LEDs is generally increased with every new product announcement. With development ongoing. the color range of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on the market was limited to the red to green spectrum. This method is less efficient than the blue LED with YAG:Ce phosphor. Other white LEDs Another method used to produce experimental white light LEDs used no phosphors at all and was based on homoepitaxially grown zinc selenide (ZnSe) on a ZnSe substrate which simultaneously emitted blue light from its active region and yellow light from the substrate. Because this mixture cannot be described by a simple dominant wavelength (there are two peaks in the spectrum. both approaches offer comparable brightness. These blue devices made it possible to build so called “single-chip white” LEDs. using a yellow converter material in combination with a blue die.

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the color coordinate change accordingly. To avoid the problem of “different” whites in an application using more than one LED. Figure 2.Figure: 2 The two main impacts on the color coordinates of the generated white light are: • The wavelength of the blue die • The concentration of the converter material. there is a color shift in the following instances: • Dimming of InGaN-based LEDs by varying the forward current • Using parallel circuits to drive more than one InGaN-based LED. Page-1113 . right). if one—or both—of these parameters changes. the driving condition in an application may also have an impact on the color coordinates of the generated white light. top shows the area within the CIE diagram in which the color coordinates of white Osram Opto Semiconductor LEDs typically vary. As well as this production-related variation of the color coordinates. Because the wavelength of an InGaN based LED (chromaticity coordinates) shifts against the forward current (see Figure 3). OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (OSRAM OS) LEDs are grouped into three bins (see Figure 2. Therefore.

14 Page-12 . Using LEDs with different forward voltages in a parallel circuit causes different forward currents for each LED. InGaN-based LEDs cover a wider variation of forward voltage. Forward Current Using Parallel Circuits to Drive More Than one InGaN-based LED In contrast to commonly-used standard LED types. 3 : Chromaticity coordinate vs.Fig. It is quite apparent that using these devices in a parallel circuit results in differences in brightness as well as a color shift. Figure 4 shows the I-V curves of some randomly selected white LEDs. This may lead to a remarkable variation in brightness as well as a shift in chromaticity coordinates.

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. P. T. Razeghi. 2. A.“ Appl. Mayes. 1999. S. S..” Jpn. Lett.REFERENCES: 1. Mukai and S. Han. H.Kung. Y. M. Nakamura. K. M. 1994.. McClintock. “Candela-class high-brightness InGaN/AlGaN double-heterostructure blue-lightemitting diodes. Mukai. vol. 3. 5735-5739.. Tukai and M. Nakamura. 38. Y. Appl. 2002. R. S. Darvish. Appl. Phys. vol. 2002. Senoh. vol. L246-L248. Yamada. Yasan. Page-1416 . “Ultraviolet InGaN and GaN Single-Quantum-Well-Structure Light-Emitting Diodes Grown on Epitaxially Laterally Overgrown GaN Substrates. Narukawa and T. T. Appl.K.1687-1689.” Jpn. pp2151. J. pp. Phys. 81. 64 pp. Phys. pp. Lee and J. 4. Phys. “Phosphor Free High-Luminous-Efficiency White Light-Emitting Diodes Composed of InGaN Multi-Quantum Well. Lett. Zhang. J. 41.

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