The optical and electrical properties of indium tin oxide (ITO)(60 nm), Ni(3.5 nm)/ITO(60 nm) and Ni(5 nm)/Au(5 nm) films were studied. It was found that the normalized transmittance of ITO and Ni/ITO films could reach 98.2% and 86.6% at 470 nm, which was much larger than that of the Ni/Au film. It was also found that both Ni/ITO and Ni/Au could form good ohmic contact on top of p-GaN. In contrast, ITO on p-GaN was electrically poor and non-ohmic. Nitride-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with these three p-contact layers were also fabricated. It was found that the LED forward voltage was 3.65, 3.26 and 3.24 V for the LEDs with ITO, Ni/ITO and Ni/Au p-contact layer, respectively. With a 20 mA current injection, it was also found that measured output power was 7.50, 6.59 and 5.26 mW for the LEDs with ITO, Ni/ITO and Ni/Au p-contact layer, respectively. Although the LED with ITO p-contact could provide the largest output intensity, its lifetime was the shortest due to severe heating effect.
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