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We briefly review some recent results on the steady-state and transient electron transport that occurs within bulk wurtzite zinc oxide. These results were obtained using an ensemble semi-classical three-valley Monte Carlo simulation approach. They showed that for electric field strengths in excess of 180 kV/cm, the steady-state electron drift velocity associated with bulk wurtzite zinc oxide exceeds that associated with bulk wurtzite gallium nitride. The transient electron transport that occurs within bulk wurtzite zinc oxide was studied by examining how electrons, initially in thermal equilibrium, respond to the sudden application of a constant electric field. These transient electron transport results demonstrated that for devices with dimensions smaller than 0.1 μm, gallium nitride based devices will offer the advantage, owing to their superior transient electron transport, while for devices with dimensions greater than 0.1 μm, zinc oxide based devices will offer the advantage, owing to their superior high-field steady-state electron transport.
Growth of non-polar III-nitrides has been an important subject recently due to its potential improvement on the efficiency of III-nitride-based opto-electronic devices. Despite study of non-polar GaN and GaN-based heterostructures, there are few reports on epitaxial growth of non-polar InN, which is also an important component of the III-nitride system. In this study, we report heteroepitaxial growth of non-polar InN on r-plane sapphire substrates using plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. It is found that when a GaN buffer is used, the following InN film appears to be non-polar (1120) a-plane which follows the a-plane GaN buffer. The room temperature Hall mobility of undoped a-plane InN is around 250 cm2/Vs with a carrier concentration around 6×1018 cm-3. Meanwhile, if InN film is directly deposited on r-plane sapphire without any buffer, the InN layer is found to consist of a predominant zincblende (cubic) structure along with a fraction of the wurtzite (hexagonal) phase with increasing content with proceeding growth.
Channel-recessed 4H-SiC MESFETs were fabricated and demonstrated excellent small signal characteristics. A saturated current of 250 − 270 mA/mm at Vgs = 0 V and a maximum transconductance of 40 − 45 mS/mm were measured for channel-recessed devices with a gate length of 0.45 m. The three-terminal breakdown voltages (Vds) range from 120 V to 150 V. The Ft and Fmax of the 2 × 200 m devices were measured to be 14.5 GHz and 40 GHz, respectively. The channel recess technique results in a lower saturation current but higher breakdown voltage which makes it possible for the devices to operate at high voltages. Si3N4 passivation suppresses the instability in DC characteristics and improves CW power performance by reducing the surface effects. Less dispersion in the drain current during a power sweep was observed after passivation.
In this study, InN films with thickness up to 7.5 micron were prepared by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on (0001) sapphire and quasi-bulk GaN templates. Previously it has been challenging to grow InN film much beyond 1 micron because the growing surface tended to become rough. Techniques to overcome this limit have been developed. Various buffer techniques were used and compared to optimize the epitaxial growth. It was found that with increasing film thickness, Hall mobility will monotonically increase, while carrier concentration decreases. Hall mobility beyond 2100 cm2/Vs with carrier concentration close to 3×1017 cm−3 was obtained at room temperature. Compared with the lowest carrier concentration ∼2×1018 cm−3 obtained on thin InN films grown at the same condition, the conclusion is that impurities from the growth environment are not responsible for the high background doping of InN. Instead, some structural defects or substrate/buffer impurities may be the major source of the unintentional doping, which can be reduced by growing thicker films.
Some results on Mg and Be doping of InN will be reported as well. To date, all Mg and Be doping attempts have resulted in n-type material.
In this work, we prepared epitaxial InN on (0001) sapphire with an AlN or GaN buffer layer by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). A series of samples were grown with different thickness under the optimized growth conditions. Films were characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), reflective high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED), atomic-force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Hall measurements. By extrapolating the fitted curve of sheet carrier density vs. film thickness to zero film thickness, a strong residual sheet charge was derived, which may be located at the interface between the buffer layer and the InN film, or at the near-surface. It was found that for InN film on AlN buffer, the residual sheet charge is about 4.3×1013 cm-2, while for InN films on GaN buffer, the residual sheet charge is about 2.5×1013 cm-2. At present, we tentatively believe that the residual charge is surface charge accumulation similar to what is observed at the InAs surface. InN samples with Hall mobility beyond 1300 cm2/Vs and carrier concentration below 2×1018 cm-3 were routinely achieved in this study.
The first study on InN-based FET structures was performed. Amorphous AlN was used as the barrier material, which was prepared by migration enhanced epitaxy (MEE) at low growth temperature. It was found that the surface morphology is improved after an AlN barrier layer is added to InN. Hg was used as a back-to-back Schottky metallization. Very low leakage current and weak rectifying behavior were observed.
InN is an important III-V compound semiconductor with many potential microelectronic and optoelectronic applications. In this study, we prepared epitaxial InN on (0001) sapphire with an AlN buffer layer by molecular beam epitaxy, and its variation, migration enhanced epitaxy. A series of samples were grown with different substrate temperatures ranging from 360°C to 590°C. The optimum growth temperature for InN was found to be between 450°C and 500°C. We also found that thicker AlN buffer layers result in the best InN quality. With increasing thickness of an AlN buffer layer, the Hall electron mobility of InN increases while the carrier concentration decreases. The surface morphology is also improved this way. Hall mobility greater than 800 cm2/Vs with carrier concentration 2-3×1018 cm−3 at room temperature can be routinely obtained for ∼0.1[.proportional]m thick InN films. Various InN-based heterostructures with AlInN or AlN barrier were fabricated. X-ray diffraction study clearly shows the barrier and InN layers. A 2-dimensional electron gas resulting from polarization induced electrons was observed in capacitance-voltage measurements. Some results on Mg doping of InN will be discussed as well.
GaN in its hexagonal Wurtzite crystal has 3.4 eV bandgap and is capable of withstanding over 3 MV/cm electric field intensity. It is grown on either sapphire or SiC and the lattice mismatches cause threading dislocations. If it is grown along the c-axis on its Ga face, a thin pseudomorphic AlxGa1−xN barrier layer grown on top causes a substantial electrical polarization, which induces a substantial 2DEG in the GaN . With x =.3 this 2 DEG is about 1 × 1013/cm2 without any doping impurities. The ∼ 109/cm2 threading dislocations accept electrons from the low density ambient donors, yielding very low net electron densities (< 1014/cm3) in the GaN buffer layer used as the HEMT channel . The 2DEG electron mobility can be 1500-1700 cm2/V-s with ≥ 1 × 1013/cm2 electron sheet density. This 2DEG sheet density charge is less than the electrical polarization charge of 1.7 × 1013/cm2 for Al.3Ga.7N/GaN, due to some surface depletion and due to the fact that each dislocation traps ≥ 2 × 103 electrons. The design, processing, and measured performance of such undoped, polarization-induced HEMT's are presented below.
The key parameters of GaN for use in microwave power amplifiers are presented. The electron-scattering effect of dislocations are presented for 2 DEG in HEMT devices. The use of the piezoelectric effect in designing Aly Ga1-yN/GaN HEMT structures is reviewed for a range of y.Short-gate device fabrication methods, and the device characterization, are presented. Maximum frequency of oscillation for .15 μm gates reached 140 GHz, while .3 μm gate power amplifiers reached 74% power-added efficiency at 3 GHz.
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