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LED power and efficiency

• The power generated internally by an LED may be determined by
consideration of the excess electrons and holes in the p- and n-type
material respectively (i.e. the minority carriers)

• The excess density of electrons Δn and holes Δp is equal since the injected
carriers are created and recombined in pairs such that charge neutrality is

• In extrinsic materials one carrier type will have a much higher

concentration than the other and hence in the p-type region, for example,
the hole concentration will be much greater than the electron
LED power and efficiency
• Generally, the excess minority carrier density decays exponentially with
time t according to the relation:

∆n= ∆n(0)exp(-t/τ)
where Δn(0) is the initial injected excess electron density
• τ  represents the total carrier recombination lifetime.
• Δn is only a small fraction of the majority carriers and comprises all of the
minority carriers.

• Therefore, in these cases, the carrier recombination lifetime becomes the

minority or injected carrier lifetime τi .
LED power and efficiency

• When there is a constant current flow into the junction diode, an

equilibrium condition is established.
• In this case, the total rate at which carriers are generated will be the
sum of the externally supplied and the thermal generation rates.
• The current density J in amperes per square meter may be written as
J/ed in electrons per cubic meter per second,
• where e is the charge on an electron
• d is the thickness of the recombination region.
• Hence a rate equation for carrier recombination in the LED can
be expressed in the form
LED power and efficiency
• The condition for equilibrium is obtained by setting the derivative to zero.
• Hence

• The above equation therefore gives the steady-state electron density

when a constant current is flowing into the junction region.
• Also in the steady state the total number of carrier recombinations per
second or the recombination rate rt will be:
LED power and efficiency
• Also in the steady state the total number of carrier recombinations
per second or the recombination rate rt will be:
rt = rr + rnr

• where rr is the radiative recombination rate per unit volume and

• rnr is the nonradiative recombination rate per unit volume

• when the forward-biased current into the device is i, then the

total number of recombinations per second Rt becomes:
LED Internal quantum efficiency

• The LED internal quantum efficiency ηint, can be defined as the ratio of the
radiative recombination rate to the total recombination rate,

• where Rr is the total number of radiative recombinations per second.

• Therefore
LED Internal Power

• Since Rr is also equivalent to the total number of photons generated per

second and each photon has an energy equal to hf joules, then the
optical power generated internally by the LED, Pint is:

• In terms of wavelength

• Above equations display a linear relationship between the optical power

generated in the LED and the drive current into the device.
LED Internal Quantum Efficiecny

• For the exponential decay of excess carriers

• the radiative minority carrier lifetime is τr = Δn/rr and
• the nonradiative minority carrier lifetime is τnr = Δn/rnr.
External Power Efficiency
• The external power efficiency ηep is defined as the ratio of the optical
power emitted externally Pe to the electric power provided to the device P

• where Pint is the power generated internally

• F is the transmission factor of the semiconductor–external interface.
• n is the refractive index of outside medium(low)where the optical power is
• nx is the refractive index of the LED material.
• Refer example 7.1-John .M.Senior Book