P-type and polarization doping of GaN in hot-wall MOCVD

Sammanfattning: The devolopment of group-III nitride semiconductor technology continues to expand rapidly over the last two decades. The indium nitride (InN), gallium nitride (GaN) and aluminum nitride (AlN) compounds and their alloys are direct bandgap semiconductors with a wide bandgap range, spanning from infrared(IR) to deep-ultraviolet (UV), enabling their utilization in optoelectronic industry. The GaN-based light-emitting diode (LED) is already the commercial solution for efficient and energy saving lighting. Additionally, the physical properties of these materials such as the high critical electric field, the high saturation carrier velocity and the high thermal conductivity, make them promising candidates for replacing silicon (Si), and other wide-bandgap semiconductors such as silicon carbide (SiC) in power devices. More importantly, the polarization-induced two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG), forming at the interfaces of these semiconductors, led to the fabrication of the GaN-based high electron mobility transistor (HEMT). This device is suitable for high power (HP) switching, power amplifiers and high frequency (HF) applications in the millimeter-wave range up to THz frequencies. As such, HEMTs are suitable for 5G communication systems, radars, satellites and a plethora of other related applications.Achieving the efficient GaN blue LED (Nobel Prize in Physics 2014), came as a result of (partially) solving several material issues of which, p-type GaN was of crucial importance. Since 1992, a lot of effort is being dedicated on the understanding and overcoming of the limitations hindering efficient p-type conductivity and low hole mobility in metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) grown p-GaN. The limitations arise from the fact that magnesium (Mg) is the only efficient p-type dopant for GaN so far and only a very small percentage ∼2% of the incorporated Mg is active at room temperature. More limitations come from its solubility in GaN and the crystal quality deterioration and formation of inversion domains (IDs) at high doping levels. Free-hole concentrations in the low 1018 cm-3 range with mobilities at ∼10 cm2V-1s-1 demonstrate the state-of-art in MOCVD grown p-GaN, still leaving a wide window for improvement. Another intensively investigated topic is related to the aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN)/GaN HEMTs. High electron density and mobility of the 2DEG in the range of 1013 cm-2 and ∼2400 cm2V-1s-1 respectively, are reported. Interface engineering, addition of interlayers and backbarriers are only some of the modifications introduced at the basic AlGaN/GaN HEMT structure in order to achieve the aforementioned values. Nevertheless, fundamental phenomena can still be revealed by special characterization techniques and provide a deeper understanding on the causal factors of theHEMT’s macroscopic properties.The main research results presented in this licentiate thesis are organized in three papers:In paper I we perform an in-depth investigation of the Mg-doped GaN growth by hot-wall MOCVD. We strive for exploiting any possible advantages of the hot-wall MOCVD on the growth of high-quality p-GaN relevant for use in HP devices. Additionally, we aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the growth process and its limiting factors. The effects of growth conditions on the Mg, hydrogen (H) and carbon (C) incorporation in GaN are approached from the gallium (Ga)-supersaturation point of view. Control of the bis(cyclopentadienyl) magnesium (Cp2Mg)/trimethylgallium(TMGa) ratio, the V/III ratio and the growth temperature, resulted in high quality p-GaN growth on AlN/4H-SiC templates, showing state-of-the-art electrical properties. In paper II, we manage to increase the free-hole concentrations in as-grown GaN:Mg in two different ways, either by growing the GaN:Mg layer on a GaN/AlN/4H-SiC template, or by modifying the gas environment of the growth. It is shown that using a GaN/AlN/4H-SiC template results in higher carrier concentration and large improvement of the as-grown p-GaN resistivity. More importantly, the high amount of hydrogen (H2) flow during GaN:Mg growth, results in higher amount of non-passivated Mg in the as-grown layers allowing for high free-hole concentration and significantly lower resistivity in the as-grown p-GaN. Paper III focuses on the effect of aluminum (Al)-content variation in the barrier layer of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs. The THz-optical Hall effect (OHE) measurements revealed a peak of the 2DEG mobility followed by a decrease above certain value of Al%. We correlate this effect with the electron effective mass (meff) variation and draw conclusions about the mobility limiting mechanisms. In the low-Al regime, the mobility decreases because of the increase in meff while, in the high-Al regime, the mobility is limited by the lower carrier scattering time.

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