In a previous study, we reported a highly efficient AlGaInP light-emitting diode (LED) with a Au/AuBe/SiO2/Si mirror substrate (MS) fabricated by wafer bonding, where a planar electrode structure is used. In view of the more efficient epilayer area utilized, AlGaInP/mirror/barrier/Si LEDs with vertical electrodes are proposed in this work. A variety of barrier layers (Pt/Ti, TaN/Ta, and TiN/Ti) have been incorporated into the mirror structure. The mirror quality after bonding is a confirmed key issue in obtaining vertical MS–LEDs with high brightness. It is found that AuBe thickness has a large effect on the final MS–LED performance due to the difference in the interdiffusion of Be atoms in each mirror structure. The diffusion of excess Be atoms diffusing to the mirror side results in a rougher surface and inferior reflectivity. The luminance intensity of an AlGaInP LED chip (626 nm) with an optimum AuBe thickness can reach a maximum of ∼ 165 mcd at 20 mA with a forward voltage of 2.1 V. After encapsulation into lamps, the peak power efficiency can reach 21.7%, which corresponds to a 9 mW output at 20 mA. Therefore, the MS structure can be extended to fabricate high-brightness AlGaInP LEDs on Si with conventional vertical electrodes. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.