III-Nitride Tunnel Junction with Modified Interface

Tech ID: 25740 / UC Case 2016-245-0

Brief Description

A method for improving the performance of semipolar III-nitride light-emitting devices. 


Current commercially available III-nitride light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and edge emitting laser diodes use an active region in a biased p-n junction to allow for electron and hole injection. The p-GaN is difficult to contact electrically and has low hole concentration and mobility. This means that p-GaN cannot be used as a current spreading layer and that traditional p-contacts will add significant voltage to devices. Despite these inherent problems, all commercial light-emitting devices utilize a p-contact and a material other than p-GaN for current spreading, typically transparent conducting oxides (TCO).


Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a method for improving the performance of semipolar III-nitride light-emitting devices. This method involves modification of the very highly doped (n+/p+) interface to reduce the energy barrier associated with tunneling and increase the tunneling current. The modification involves introducing extra charge carriers, such as dopant atoms, or impurities that results in electronic trap states that enhance tunneling.


  • Improved device performance due to decreased operating voltage of devices
  • Elimination of a need for a TCO or silver mirror
  • Simpler manufacturing process due to fewer processing steps
  • Ability to incorporate multiple active regions into a single device


  • LEDs
  • Edge emitting laser diodes
  • Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs)
  • Solar cells

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 18-0374699 12/27/2018 2016-245


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Other Information


indled, indssl, LED, solar cells, edge emitting laser diodes, III-nitride, p-GaN, indfeat, indmicroelec

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