AlN/h-BN Heterostructures for Mg Dopant-Free Deep Ultraviolet Photonics
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Aluminum-rich AlGaN is the ideal material system for emerging solid-state deep-ultraviolet (DUV) light sources. Devices operating in the near-UV spectral range have been realized; to date, however, the achievement of high-efficiency light-emitting diodes (LEDs) operating in the UV-C band (200-280 nm specifically) has been hindered by the extremely inefficient p-type conduction in AlGaN and the lack of DUV-transparent conductive electrodes. Here, we show that these critical challenges can be addressed by Mg dopant-free Al(Ga)N/h-BN nanowire heterostructures. By exploiting the acceptor-like boron vacancy formation, we have demonstrated that h-BN can function as a highly conductive, DUV-transparent electrode; the hole concentration is ∼1020 cm-3 at room temperature, which is 10 orders of magnitude higher than that previously measured for Mg-doped AlN epilayers. We have further demonstrated the first Al(Ga)N/h-BN LED, which exhibits strong emission at ∼210 nm. This work also reports the first achievement of Mg-free III-nitride LEDs that can exhibit high electrical efficiency (80% at 20 A/cm2).
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