Design, fabrication and application of GaN-based micro-LED arrays with individual addressing by n-electrodes

Xie, Enyuan and Stonehouse, Mark and Ferreira, Ricardo and McKendry, Jonathan J. D. and Herrnsdorf, Johannes and He, Xiangyu and Rajbhandari, Sujan and Chun, Hyunchae and Jalajakumari, Aravind V.N. and Almer, Oscar and Faulkner, Grahame and Watson, Ian M. and Gu, Erdan and Henderson, Robert and O'Brien, Dominic and Dawson, Martin D. (2017) Design, fabrication and application of GaN-based micro-LED arrays with individual addressing by n-electrodes. IEEE Photonics Journal, 9 (6). 7907811. ISSN 1943-0655 (

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We demonstrate the development, performance and application of a GaN-based micro-light emitting diode (μLED) array sharing a common p-electrode (anode), and with individually addressable nelectrodes (cathodes). Compared to conventional GaN-based LED arrays, this array design employs a reversed structure of common and individual electrodes, which makes it innovative and compatible with n-type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) transistor-based drivers for faster modulation. Excellent performance characteristics are illustrated by an example array emitting at 450 nm. At a current density of 17.7 kA/cm2 in direct-current operation, the optical power and small signal electrical-to-optical modulation bandwidth of a single LED element with 24 μm diameter are over 2.0 mW and 440 MHz, respectively. The optimized fabrication process also ensures a high yield of working μLED elements per array, and excellent element-to-element uniformity of electrical/optical characteristics. Results on visible light communication are presented as an application of an array integrated with an NMOS driver. Data transmission at several hundred Mbps without bit error is achieved for single and multiple-μLED-element operations, under an on-off-keying modulation scheme. Transmission of stepped sawtooth waveforms is also demonstrated to confirm that the μLED elements can transmit discrete multi-level signals.