1D  UV LED: Quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of superlattice structure in pregion¶
Section author: Naoki Mitsui
In the recent UVLEDs based on AlGaN, the superlattice (SL) structure is introduced into the ptype layer in order to enhance the acceptor ionization, which results in the improvement of the hole conductivity. We investigate how this structure improves the characteristics of UV LEDs using nextnano++.
First, the hole concentration in a ptype AlGaN/GaN SL structure is calculated using SchrödingerPoisson solver and the enhancement of the acceptor ionization is quantitatively examined. This part is based on the following literatures:
 E. F. Schbert, et. al,Enhancement of deep acceptor activation in semiconductors by superlattice doping,Appl. Phys. Lett. 69, 3737 (1996)
 P.Kozodoy, et. al,Enhanced Mg doping efficiency in Al_{0.2}Ga_{0.8}N/GaN superlatticesAppl. Phys. Lett. 74, 3681 (1999)
Second, the SL structure is introduced into the pregion of LED structure with InAlGaN MQW and CurrentPoisson equation is solved. Then the IQE result is compared to the LED structure with the bulk pregion.
The structure used in this part is based on the following literature:
 H. HirayamaQuaternary InAlGaNbased highefficiency ultraviolet lightemitting diodes,Journal of Applied Physics 97, 091101 (2005)
Sample input files
1D_UV_LED_KozodoyAPL1999_nnp.in
1D_DUV_LED_HirayamaJAP2005_SL_nnp.in
Table of contents
Hole density estimation¶
Structure¶
The simulation region consists of the following structure:
Material 
Thickness 
Doping 
Al_{0.2}Ga_{0.8}N/GaN 8layer MQW 
\(L=L_\text{well}=L_\text{barrier}\) 
5.0 \(\times\) 10^{19} [cm^{3}] 
The simulation is sweeped over the well and barrier thickness \(L\) from 1 nm to 10 nm.
Bandedges¶
The following figure shows the bandedge profile and the Fermi energy for the SL structure with \(L=\) 4.0 nm.
The bandedge tilting is due to the piezo and pyroelectricity, which actually enhances the acceptor ionization as can be seen later.
Scheme¶
SchrödingerPoisson equation¶
We can specify which simulation or equations would be solved on run{}
section in your input file.
In 1D_UV_LED_KozodoyAPL1999_nnp.in it is described as
run{
strain{}
poisson{}
quantum_poisson{}
}
Then nextnano++ solves the strain equation and selfconsistent SchrödingerPoisson equation.
The resulting electrostatic potential \(\phi(x)\), electron density \(n(x)\), and hole density \(p(x)\) should satisfy both Poisson equation and the carrier density calculation based on Schrödinger equation. For further detailed discussion, please refer to General scheme of the optical device analysis.
Ionization of dopant¶
The ionized donor and acceptor densities, \(N_D^+,N_A^\) are calculated as
where the summation is over all different donor or acceptors, \(N_D,N_A\) are the doping concentrations, \(g_D,g_A\) are the degeneracy factors (\(g_D=2\) and \(g_A=4\) for shallow impurities), and \(E_{D},E_{A}\) are the energies of the neutral donor and acceptor impurities, respectively.
These energies \(E_{D},E_{A}\) are determined by the ionization energies \(E_{D,i}^{ion},E_{A,i}^{ion}\) , the bulk conduction and valence bandedges (including shifts due to strain) and the electrostatic potential as
The parameters can be specified in the input file as follows:
Doping concentrations \(N_D,N_A\) are specified at
structure{ region{ doping{} } }
likestructure{ ... region{ ... doping{ #constant{ # name = "donor_impurity" # conc = 2.0e18 # cm^3 #} constant{ name = "acceptor_impurity" conc = 5.0e19 # cm^3 } } } }
The degeneracy factors \(g_D,g_A\) and ionization energies \(E_{D,i}^{ion},E_{A,i}^{ion}\) are specified at impurities{} like
impurities{ donor{ name = "donor_impurity" # Si energy = 0.030 # ionization energy measured from the conduction bandedge. (fully ionized when 1000) degeneracy = 2 # degeneracy: 2 for ntype } acceptor{ name = "acceptor_impurity" # Mg energy = 0.23 # ionization energy measured from the valence bandedge. 0.23 eV is taken from Kozodoy1999. (fully ionized when 1000) degeneracy = 4 # degeneracy: 4 for ptype } }
Results¶
Spatially averaged hole density¶
Here we show the relation between \(L=L_\text{well}=L_\text{barrier}\) and the spatially averaged hole densities.
The orange line is the result of Poisson equation ignoring the polarization fields, the blue line is the result of Poisson equation including the polarization fields, and the green line is the result of SchrödingerPoisson equation including the polarization fields.
The corresponding hole density for bulk Al_{0.2}Ga_{0.8}N with the same acceptor concentration 5.0 \(\times\) 10^{19} [cm^{3}] has been calculated as around 0.43\(\times\) 10^{18} [cm^{3}], so the hole density is improved in any case.
What we can also see is that the polarization field further enhances the acceptor ionization, while the quantization effect reduces it as \(L\) becomes smaller.
Hole density/Ionized acceptor density distribution¶
Here we see the spatial distribution of the hole density and ionized acceptor density. We can confirm that the holes generated by the ionization of the acceptors in the barrier layers are accumulated into the well layers.
IQE estimation¶
Structure¶
The simulation region consists of the following structure:
Material 
Thickness 
Doping 

nAl_{0.18}Ga_{0.82}N 
100 nm 
8 \(\times\) 10^{18} [cm^{3}] (donor) 

In_{0.02}Al_{0.09}Ga_{0.89}N  In_{0.02}Al_{0.22}Ga_{0.76}N 3layer MQW 
well: 2.5 nm, barrier: 15 nm 
0 [cm^{3}] 

Al_{0.24}Ga_{0.76}N/Al_{0.17}Ga_{0.83}N 8layer MQW 
well: 4.0 nm, barrier: 4.0 nm 
2 \(\times\) 10^{19} [cm^{3}] (acceptor) 

pAl_{0.17}Ga_{0.83}N as a pcontact layer  20 nm 
2 \(\times\) 10^{19} [cm^{3}] (acceptor) 
The simulation result of this structure is compared with the structure where the pregion consists of bulk Al_{0.20}Ga_{0.80}N.
The electron blocking layer is not included here.
Bandedges¶
The following figures show the bandedge profiles and the Fermi energies for the structures with (top) and without (bottom) SL. The width of the SL wells and barriers is set to \(L=\) 4.0 nm.
Scheme¶
The corresponding run{} section is described as
run{
strain{}
current_poisson{}
}
Then nextnano++ solves the current equation and Poisson equation selfconsistently after solving strain equation.
After the CurrentPoisson equation has been converged, optoelectronic characteristics are calculated according to the specification in the section classical{}.
For further details, please see General scheme of the optical device analysis.
IQE result¶
The calculated IQEs with respect to the applied bias (left) and current density (right) are shown here. We can see that the IQE for the structure with SL, which is slightly smaller than that of bulk at the bias around 3.4 V, becomes superior to bulk for larger biases.
What can we do further?¶
By sweeping the simulation over the corresponding parameters, we can optimize the device strucutres such as \(L\), number of SLs, or the Al content of the SL region, for example. Our open source python package nextnanopy is a powerful tool for this purpose.
The graphs shown in this tutorial are also generated by a python script using nextnanopy.
Please help us to improve our tutorial. Should you have any questions or comments, please send to support [at] nextnano.com.