The tensile stress in light-emitting diode (LED)-on-Si(1 1 1) multilayer structures must be reduced so that it does not compromise the multiple quantum well emission wavelength uniformity and structural stability. In this paper it is shown for non-optimized LED structures grown on Si(1 1 1) substrates that both emission wavelength uniformity and structural stability can be achieved within the same growth process. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the stress distribution within such a structure, cross-sectional Raman and photo-luminescence spectroscopy techniques were developed. It is observed that for a Si:GaN layer grown on a low-temperature (LT) AlN intermediate layer there is a decrease in compressive stress with increasing Si:GaN layer thickness during MOCVD growth which leads to a high level of tensile stress in the upper part of the layer. This may lead to the development of cracks during cooling to room temperature. Such a phenomenon may be associated with annihilation of defects such as dislocations. Therefore, a reduction of dislocation intensity should take place at the early stage of GaN growth on an AlN or AlGaN layer in order to reduce a build up of tensile stress with thickness. Furthermore, it is also shown that a prolonged three dimensional GaN island growth on a LT AlN interlayer for the reduction of dislocations may result in a reduction in the compressive stress in the resulting GaN layer.
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