A new architecture for transparent electrodes: relieving the trade-off between electrical conductivity and optical transmittance.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 5001, USA.
Advanced Materials (Impact Factor: 15.41). 06/2011; 23(21):2469-73. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201100419
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: For realizing next-generation solid-state lighting devices, performance breakthroughs must be accomplished for nitride-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Highly transparent conductive electrodes (TCEs) may be key to achieving this goal, as they provide uniform current injection and distribution across a large device area, eventually increasing the light output power. However, the trade-off between electrical conductivity and optical transmittance of LEDs must be addressed. Herein, we introduce a novel strategy based on TCEs fabricated using wide-bandgap (WB) materials such as SiNx, incorporated beneath the n-type electrode of vertical-type LEDs, and show the feasibility of this strategy. We employ a novel electrical breakdown (EBD) technique to form conductive filaments (or current paths) between a TCE and n-GaN (GaN: gallium nitride). By employing the EBD process, we obtain both ohmic behavior for SiNx TCE/n-GaN and a current spreading effect across n-GaN. These results demonstrate the tremendous potential of WB-TCEs for use in high-performance optoelectronic devices.
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