Electroluminescence and current-voltage measurements of single-(In,Ga)N/GaN-nanowire light-emitting diodes in a nanowire ensemble
We present the combined analysis of electroluminescence (EL) and current-voltage (I-V) behavior of single, freestanding (In,Ga)N/GaN nanowire (NW) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in an unprocessed, self-assembled ensemble grown by molecular beam epitaxy. The data were acquired in a scanning electron microscope equipped with a micromanipulator and a luminescence detection system. Single NW spectra consist of emission lines originating from different quantum wells, and the width of the spectra increases with decreasing peak emission energy. The corresponding I-V characteristics are described well by a modified Shockley equation. The key advantage of this measurement approach is the possibility to correlate the EL intensity of a single-NW LED with the actual current density in this NW. This way, the external quantum efficiency (EQE) can be investigated as a function of the current in a single-NW LED. The comparison of the EQE characteristic of single NWs and the ensemble device allows for a quite accurate determination of the actual number of emitting NWs in the working ensemble LED and the respective current densities in its individual NWs. This information is decisive for a meaningful and comprehensive characterization of a NW ensemble device, rendering the measurement approach employed here a very powerful analysis tool. © 2019 van Treeck et al.