Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Hieu Pham Trung Nguyen

Second Advisor

Durgamadhab Misraa

Third Advisor

Nirwan Ansari

Fourth Advisor

Abdallah Khreishah

Fifth Advisor

Siva P.V. Nadimpalli


Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using III-nitride nanowire heterostructures have been intensively studied as promising candidates for future phosphor-free solid-state lighting and full-color displays. Compared to conventional GaN-based planar LEDs, III-nitride nanowire LEDs exhibit numerous advantages including greatly reduced dislocation densities, polarization fields, and quantum-confined Stark effect due to the effective lateral stress relaxation, promising high efficiency full-color LEDs. Beside these advantages, however, several factors have been identified as the limiting factors for further enhancing the nanowire LED quantum efficiency and light output power. Some of the most probable causes have been identified as due to the lack of carrier confinement in the active region, non-uniform carrier distribution, and electron overflow. Moreover, the presence of large surface states and defects contribute significantly to the carrier loss in nanowire LEDs.

In this dissertation, a unique core-shell nanowire heterostructure is reported, that could overcome some of the aforementioned-problems of nanowire LEDs. The device performance of such core-shell nanowire LEDs is significantly enhanced by employing several effective approaches. For instance, electron overflow and surface states/defects issues can be significantly improved by the usage of electron blocking layer and by passivating the nanowire surface with either dielectric material / large bandgap energy semiconductors, respectively. Such core-shell nanowire structures exhibit significantly increased carrier lifetime and massively enhanced photoluminescence intensity compared to conventional InGaN/GaN nanowire LEDs.

Furthermore, AlGaN based ultraviolet LEDs are studied and demonstrated in this dissertation. The simulation studies using Finite-Difference Time-Domain method (FDTD) substantiate the design modifications such as flip-chip nanowire LED introduced in this work. High performance nanowire LEDs on metal substrates (copper) were fabricated via substrate-transfer process. These LEDs display higher output power in comparison to typical nanowire LEDs grown on Si substrates. By engineering the device active region, high brightness phosphor-free LEDs on Cu with highly stable white light emission and high color rendering index of > 95 are realized.

High performance nickel?zinc oxide (Ni-ZnO) and zinc oxide-graphene (ZnO-G) particles have been fabricated through a modified polyol route at 250?C. Such materials exhibit great potential for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) applications on account of the enhanced short-circuit current density values and improved efficiency that stems from the enhanced absorption and large surface area of the composite. The enhanced absorption of Ni-ZnO composites can be explained by the reduction in grain boundaries of the composite structure as well as to scattering at the grain boundaries. The impregnation of graphene into ZnO structures results in a significant increase in photocurrent consequently due to graphene's unique attributes including high surface area and ultra-high electron mobility.

Future research directions will involve the development of such wide-bandgap devices such as solar cells, full color LEDs, phosphor free white-LEDs, UV LEDs and laser diodes for several applications including general lighting, wearable flexible electronics, water purification, as well as high speed LEDs for visible light communications.



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