Catalyst-free InGaN/GaN nanowire light emitting diodes grown on (001) silicon by molecular beam epitaxy

Nano Lett. 2010 Sep 8;10(9):3355-9. doi: 10.1021/nl101027x.


Catalyst-free growth of (In)GaN nanowires on (001) silicon substrate by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy is demonstrated. The nanowires with diameter ranging from 10 to 50 nm have a density of 1-2 x 10(11) cm(-2). P- and n-type doping of the nanowires is achieved with Mg and Si dopant species, respectively. Structural characterization by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) indicates that the nanowires are relatively defect-free. The peak emission wavelength of InGaN nanowires can be tuned from ultraviolet to red by varying the In composition in the alloy and "white" emission is obtained in nanowires where the In composition is varied continuously during growth. The internal quantum efficiency varies from 20-35%. Radiative and nonradiative lifetimes of 5.4 and 1.4 ns, respectively, are obtained from time-resolved photoluminescence measurements at room temperature for InGaN nanowires emitting at lambda = 490 nm. Green- and white-emitting planar LEDs have been fabricated and characterized. The electroluminescence from these devices exhibits negligible quantum confined Stark effect or band-tail filling effect.