Sapphire Substrate Geometrical Effects on III-N Blue LED Material Properties

Monday, May 12, 2014: 15:40
Manatee, Ground Level (Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek)
E. A. Armour (Veeco Instruments Inc.), M. Hu (Veeco Instruments Taiwan Techology Center), D. P. Byrnes (Veeco Instruments, Inc.), K. Sun (Veeco Instruments Taiwan Technology Center), G. D. Papasouliotis (Veeco Instruments), L. B. Maiocco (Saint Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc.), M. A. Brosnan, and C. J. Gasdaska (Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc.)
Solid-state lighting modules based upon III-N light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are now progressing towards widespread adoption in residential and commercial applications.  LED manufacturers are driving die performance and yield upwards while reducing cost.  However, color binning due to the sensitivity of the human eye response, which can resolve differences in dominant wavelength within a 2 nm range, remains one of the primary yield and cost limiters.   As we continue to improve and understand growth process-related reproducibility, we have observed that some of the within-wafer and wafer-to-wafer characteristics cannot be explained through known physical phenomena from the epitaxy, and are more likely related to substrate properties.

In this presentation, we will analyze a set of experiments designed to understand the effect of (0001) sapphire c-plane substrate physical dimensions (thickness, diameter, bow/warp/TTV, edge beveling) and crystal properties (misorientation, surface roughness) on uniformity and reproducibility of constituent LED layers.  Our initial studies have found that precisely controlled crystal misorientation (offcut) towards the m-plane is a significant factor influencing wafer-to-wafer peak wavelength variation, GaN surface roughness, and p-doping levels.  Quantitative analysis of these results with respect to variation in typical substrate manufacturing capabilities will be presented; the trends are in agreement with the materials characteristics explored in our previous studies [1, 2].  Warp and bow are critical parameters for control over GaN material characteristics.  Furthermore, tight control over the total thickness variation (TTV) is needed to obtain highly uniform, repeatable sub-micron dimensions used to create current patterned substrate (PSS) wafers.  

[1]   D. Lu, D.I. Florescu, D.S. Lee, V. Merai, J.C. Ramer, A. Parekh, and E.A. Armour, “Sapphire substrate misorientation effects on GaN nucleation layer properties”, J. Crystal Growth 272:353, (2004).

[2]   D. Lu, D.I. Florescu, D.S. Lee, V. Merai, A. Parekh, J.C. Ramer, S.P. Guo, and E. Armour, “Advanced characterization studies of sapphire substrate misorientation effects on GaN-based LED device development”, Phys. Stat. Sol.(a) 200:71, (2003).