A III-nitride based device provides improved current injection efficiency by reducing thermionic carrier escape at high current density. The device includes a quantum well active layer and a pair of multi-layer barrier layers arranged symmetrically about the active layer. Each multi-layer barrier layer includes an inner layer abutting the active layer; and an outer layer abutting the inner layer. The inner barrier layer has a bandgap greater than that of the outer barrier layer. Both the inner and the outer barrier layer have bandgaps greater than that of the active layer. InGaN may be employed in the active layer, AlInN, AlInGaN or AlGaN may be employed in the inner barrier layer, and GaN may be employed in the outer barrier layer. Preferably, the inner layer is thin relative to the other layers. In one embodiment the inner barrier and active layers are 15 .ANG. and 24 .ANG. thick, respectively.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with government support under U.S. National Science Foundation--ECCS Award #0701421, and US Department of Energy--NETL (DE-FC26-08NT01581). The government has certain rights in the invention.