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STTR Phase I: Nonpolar GaN-Based Light Emitting Diodes

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0539935
Agency Tracking Number: 0539935
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
5385 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
United States
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Paul Fini
 Dr
 (805) 504-4639
 fini@inlustra.com
Business Contact
 Paul Fini
Phone: (805) 564-2331
Email: fini@inlustra.com
Research Institution
 Univ of CA Santa Barbara
 Shuji Nakamura
 
3227 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
United States

 (805) 893-5562
 Nonprofit College or University
Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will develop nonpolar gallium nitride (GaN)-based light emitting diodes (LEDs) with high energy efficiency and output power. Nonpolar GaN-based LEDs will find immediate application in demanding next-generation solid-state lighting applications. Recently there has been significant improvement in the performance of light emitting diodes (LEDs) utilizing gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors. However, key limitations in the growth and fabrication of these conventional LEDs will ultimately prevent their adoption for the most demanding lighting applications. Commercial GaN-based LEDs are fabricated on ill-matched substrates including sapphire and silicon carbide. The resulting GaN device films contain high dislocation densities (> 109 /cm2) and/or crack densities, often requiring complicated device processing. Additionally, nearly all GaN-based LEDs have been fabricated from polar c-plane GaN thin films. Such devices suffer from built-in polarization fields that reduce carrier recombination efficiency and thus limit light output. Research groups have fabricated nonpolar GaN-based LEDs, which have no built-in polarization fields. They have inherently higher internal quantum efficiency and thus higher output power than conventional c-plane LEDs. The company proposes a research effort to grow and fabricate high-brightness nonpolar (m-plane and a-plane) blue and green GaN-based LEDs on nonpolar GaN films with uniformly low extended defect density. The company team will grow high-quality nonpolar GaN 'template' layers, while the research team will perform LED growth, fabrication, and testing. Commercially, the largest future application for nonpolar GaN-based LEDs is replacement of conventional white light sources such as fluorescent bulbs. Solid-state white lighting may be achieved via combinations of discrete red, green, and blue LEDs; alternately, short-wavelength (e.g. blue, ultraviolet) nitride LEDs can excite phosphor mixtures. In either case, the LEDs must have sufficiently low cost and high output power to justify replacement of conventional lamps. Nonpolar GaN-based LEDs will meet the most demanding lighting requirements, whereas conventional polar GaN-based LEDs cannot. Additionally, since nonpolar GaN-based LEDs emit polarized light, applications such as liquid crystal display backlighting will greatly benefit from their adoption.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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