We report on the demonstration of a new type of axial nanowire LED heterostructures, with the use of self-organized InGaN/AlGaN dot-in-a-wire core-shell nanowire arrays. The large bandgap AlGaN shell is spontaneously formed on the sidewall of the nanowire during the growth of AlGaN barrier of the quantum dot active region. As such, nonradiative surface recombination, that dominates the carrier dynamics of conventional axial nanowire LED structures, can be largely eliminated, leading to significantly increased carrier lifetime from ∼0.3 ns to 4.5 ns. The luminescence emission is also enhanced by orders of magnitude. Moreover, the p-doped AlGaN barrier layers can function as distributed electron blocking layers (EBLs), which is found to be more effective in reducing electron overflow, compared to the conventional AlGaN EBL. The device displays strong white-light emission, with a color rendering index of ∼95. An output power of >5 mW is measured for a 1 mm × 1 mm device, which is more than 500 times stronger than the conventional InGaN axial nanowire LEDs without AlGaN distributed EBLs.
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