III-Nitride Tunnel Junction LED with High Wall Plug Efficiency

Tech ID: 31762 / UC Case 2017-131-0


Commercially-available III-nitride light-emitting diodes (LEDs) 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 the University of California, Santa Barbara have introduced an n-GaN layer that produces less loss than a traditional transparent conducting oxide. The favorable current spreading of the n-GaN layer also helps to reduce the droop observed in previous iterations of III-Nitride LEDs. The combined benefits of this novel current spreading layer materialize into a device with over 70% wall plug efficiency.


  • Improved light extraction
  • Improved energy efficiency (over 70%)
  • No requirement for TCOs or mirrors


  • III-Nitride LEDs

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 11,164,997 11/02/2021 2017-131


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches


Other Information


LED, tunnel junction, GaN, III-nitride LED

Categorized As

Additional Technologies by these Inventors