Development of InGaN/GaN Core-Shell Light Emitters

  • Ionut Girgel

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Gallium nitride (GaN) and its related semiconductor alloys are attracting tremendous interest for their wide range of applications in blue and green LEDs, diode lasers, high-temperature and high-power electronics. Nanomaterials such as InGaN/GaN core-shell three-dimensional nanostructures are seen as a breakthrough technology for future solid-state lighting and nano-electronics devices. In a core-shell LED, the active semiconductor layers grown around a GaN core enable control over a wide range of wavelengths and applications.In this thesis the capability for the heteroepitaxial growth of a proof-of-principle core-shell LED is advanced. A design that can be applied at the wafer scale using metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) crystal growth on highly uniform GaN nanorod (NR) structures is proposed. This project demonstrates understanding over the growth constraints of active layers and dopant layers. The impact of reactor pressure and temperature on the morphology and on the incorporated InN mole fraction was studied for thick InGaN shells on the different GaN crystal facets. Mg doping and effectiveness of the p-n junction for a core-shell structure was studied by extensive growth experiments and characterization. Sapphire and Si substrates were used, and at all the stages of growth and fabrication. The structures were optimized to achieve geometry homogeneity, high-aspect-ratio, incorporation homogeneity for InN and Mg dopant. The three-dimensional nature of NRs and their light emission provided ample challenges which required adaptation of characterization and fabrication techniques for a core-shell device.Finally, an electrically contacted core-shell LED is demonstrated and characterized. Achieving a proof-of-principle core-shell device could be the starting point in the development of nanostructure-based devices and new physics, or in solving technical problems in planar LEDs, such as the polarization of emitted light, the quantum-confined Stark effect, efficiency droop, or the green gap.
Date of Award27 Jun 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPhilip Shields (Supervisor)


  • semiconductor compounds
  • Gallium nitride
  • Core-shell
  • Light emitting diodes
  • Epitaxial growth
  • plasma etching
  • Nanorods
  • device designs
  • photoluminescence

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