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Interface control for pure ultraviolet electroluminescence from nano-ZnO-based heterojunction devices

Daotong You;Chunxiang Xu;Feifei Qin;Zhu Zhu;A.Gowri Manohari;Wei Xu;Jie Zhao;Wei Liu;State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science & Medical Engineering, Southeast University;  
Realization of pure and stable ultraviolet electroluminescence(UV EL) of ZnO light-emitting diode(LED)is still a challenging issue, due to complicated defects of intrinsic ZnO and the corresponding device interfaces. In this paper, we demonstrated a simple feasible method to fabricate n-ZnO/AlN/p-GaN heterojunctions light-emitting devices. First, the vertically aligned ZnO nanorods(NRs) have been prepared as high quality active layer, and the nanostructured heterojunction LED arrays were constructed by directly bonding ZnO NRs onto AlN-coated p-GaN wafer. By optimizing the AlN layer thickness to be 20 nm, a strong and pure ultraviolet emission located at 387 nm can be observed. The energy band alignment of n-ZnO/AlN(20 nm)/p-Ga N heterojunction LED has been studied by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy(XPS), the valence band offset between AlN and GaN was calculated to be 0.34 eV. On the other side, the conduction band offset(as large as 3.28 eV) between Al N and ZnO can block the flow of electrons from ZnO top-GaN. Thus, electron-hole recombination takes place in the ZnO layer, and a pure UV EL could be observed. Our results provide a significant approach toward future of pure ultraviolet optoelectronic LEDs.
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