The metal – p-GaN junction for low resistance ohmic contacts is still a challenge to be applied in GaN-based opto electronics as well as in power and high frequency devices. Currently, we try to improve the performance of our blue laser diodes. In order to decrease heat generation during device operation it is necessary to ensure as small contact resistances as possible.
In this work, we achieved a specific contact resistance value of RC = 1.8 ± 1.7. 10-5 Ωcm2 for Pt-contacts on MOVPE-grown p-GaN. The Pt-layers were deposited by e-beam and thermally assisted vacuum evaporation after a standard cleaning process. For evaluation of Rc we used optimised circular TLM test patterns defined by photolithography. Best contacts were formed by annealing in Nitrogen athmosphere at 500°C.
We also investigated the dependence of the contact resistance on the Mg doping concentration. Therefore p-GaN layers with different Mg-concentrations were grown on SiC-substrates and Pt-contacts were processed. For those samples, we investigated the Mg-concentrations, verified by secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), the hole concentrations and mobilities in dependence of C(Mg), which we obtained from HALL-measurements, and the contact and sheet resistances, measured by circular TLM measurements.
The experiments showed that the optimum Mg-concentration for low contact resistances is higher than 2 1019 cm-3 which was found to provide a maximum hole concentration near 7 1017 cm-3. The influence of self-compensation in p-GaN in bulk and near interfaces will be discussed.