Thickness variations and absence of lateral compositional fluctuations in aberration-corrected STEM images of InGaN LED active regions at low dose

Microsc Microanal. 2014 Jun;20(3):864-8. doi: 10.1017/S1431927614000427. Epub 2014 Mar 26.


Aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy images of the In(0.15)Ga(0.85)N active region of a blue light-emitting diode, acquired at ~0.1% of the electron dose known to cause electron beam damage, show no lateral compositional fluctuations, but do exhibit one to four atomic plane steps in the active layer's upper boundary. The area imaged was measured to be 2.9 nm thick using position averaged convergent beam electron diffraction, ensuring the sample was thin enough to capture compositional variation if it was present. A focused ion beam prepared sample with a very large thin area provides the possibility to directly observe large fluctuations in the active layer thickness that constrict the active layer at an average lateral length scale of 430 nm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.