The electrical, optical, and structural properties of light emitting diodes (LEDs) fabricated from the III–V nitride material system have been studied. LEDs with external quantum efficiencies as high as 4% were characterized by transmission electron microscopy and found to contain dislocation densities in excess of 2×1010 cm−2. A comparison to other III–V arsenide and phosphide LEDs shows that minority carries in GaN‐based LEDs are remarkably insensitive to the presence of structural defects. Dislocations do not act as efficient nonradiative recombination sites in nitride materials. It is hypothesized that the benign character of dislocations arises from the ionic nature of bonding in the III–V nitrides.

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