As the size of micro light-emitting diodes (μLEDs) decreases, μLEDs encounter etching damage especially at the sidewalls that critically affects their properties. In this study, we investigated the influence of etching bias power (Pbias) on the performance of μLEDs and found that the current-voltage and light output-current characteristics of μLEDs were enhanced when Pbias was reduced. It was shown that at low Pbias, the chemical reaction between etching gas and gallium nitride, rather than ion sputtering, dominated the etching process, leading to low plasma damage and rough surface morphology. Additionally, to understand the etching-induced surface roughening behaviors, various substrates with different threading dislocation densities were treated at low Pbias. It was found that for the sample (with p-contact size of 10 × 10 μm2), the efficiency droop was approximately 20%, although the current reached 10 mA due most probably to the suppressed polarization effect in the quantum well. It was further observed that the external quantum efficiency (EQE) was dependent on Pbias, where the lowest Pbias yielded the highest maximum EQE, indicating that the plasma damage was mitigated by reducing Pbias. Optimization of dry etching and polarization-suppression conditions could pave the way for realizing high-performance and brightness μLEDs for next-generation displays.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)