Strains and V-shaped pits are essential factors for determining the efficiency of GaN-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In this study, we systematically analyzed GaN LED structures on patterned sapphire substrates (PSSs) with two types of growth temperature employed for prestrained layers and three different thickness of n-type GaN layers by using cathodoluminescence (CL), microphotoluminescence (PL), and depth-resolved confocal Raman spectroscopy. The results indicated that V-pits formation situation can be analyzed using CL. From the emission peak intensity ratio of prestrained layers and multiple quantum wells (MQWs) in the CL spectrum, information regarding strain relaxation between prestrained layers and MQWs was determined. Furthermore, micro-PL and depth-resolved confocal Raman spectroscopy were employed to validate the results obtained from CL measurements. The growth conditions of prestrained layers played a dominant role in the determination of LED performance. The benefit of the thick layer of n-GaN was the strain reduction, which was counteracted by an increase in light absorption in thick n-type doped layers. Consequently, the most satisfactory LED performance was observed in a structure with relatively lower growth temperature of prestrained layers that exhibited larger V-pits, leading to higher strain relaxation and thinner n-type GaN layers, which prevent light absorption caused by n-type GaN layers.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited