Evidence of trap-assisted Auger recombination in low radiative efficiency MBE-grown III-nitride LEDs

Andrew C. Espenlaub, Daniel J. Myers, Erin Young, Saulius Marcinkevičius, Claude Weisbuch, James S. Speck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


By studying low radiative efficiency blue III-nitride light emitting diodes (LEDs), we find that the ABC model of recombination commonly used for understanding efficiency behavior in LEDs is insufficient and that additional effects should be taken into account. We propose a modification to the standard recombination model by incorporating a bimolecular nonradiative term. The modified model is shown to be in much better agreement with the radiative efficiency data and to be more consistent than the conventional model with very short carrier lifetimes measured by time-resolved photoluminescence in similar, low radiative efficiency material. We present experimental evidence that a hot carrier-generating process is occurring within these devices, in the form of measurements of forward photocurrent under forward bias. The forward photocurrent, due to hot carrier generation in the active region, is present despite the lack of any "efficiency droop" - the usual signature of band-to-band Auger recombination in high-quality III-nitride LEDs. Hot carrier generation in the absence of band-to-band Auger recombination implies that some other source of hot carriers exists within these low radiative efficiency devices, such as trap-assisted Auger recombination.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184502
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - Nov 11 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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