Wafer-scale transfer route for top–down III-nitride nanowire LED arrays based on the femtosecond laser lift-off technique
The integration of gallium nitride (GaN) nanowire light-emitting diodes (nanoLEDs) on flexible substrates offers opportunities for applications beyond rigid solid-state lighting (e.g., for wearable optoelectronics and bendable inorganic displays). Here, we report on a fast physical transfer route based on femtosecond laser lift-off (fs-LLO) to realize wafer-scale top–down GaN nanoLED arrays on unconventional platforms. Combined with photolithography and hybrid etching processes, we successfully transferred GaN blue nanoLEDs from a full two-inch sapphire substrate onto a flexible copper (Cu) foil with a high nanowire density (~107 wires/cm2), transfer yield (~99.5%), and reproducibility. Various nanoanalytical measurements were conducted to evaluate the performance and limitations of the fs-LLO technique as well as to gain insights into physical material properties such as strain relaxation and assess the maturity of the transfer process. This work could enable the easy recycling of native growth substrates and inspire the development of large-scale hybrid GaN nanowire optoelectronic devices by solely employing standard epitaxial LED wafers (i.e., customized LED wafers with additional embedded sacrificial materials and a complicated growth process are not required).