skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Distributed polarization-doped GaN p–n diodes with near-unity ideality factor and avalanche breakdown voltage of 1.25 kV

Polarization-induced (Pi) distributed or bulk doping in GaN, with a zero dopant ionization energy, can reduce temperature or frequency dispersions in impurity-doped p–n junctions caused by the deep-acceptor-nature of Mg, thus offering GaN power devices promising prospects. Before comprehensively assessing the benefits of Pi-doping, ideal junction behaviors and high-voltage capabilities should be confirmed. In this work, we demonstrate near-ideal forward and reverse I–V characteristics in Pi-doped GaN power p–n diodes, which incorporates linearly graded, coherently strained AlGaN layers. Hall measurements show a net increase in the hole concentration of 8.9 × 1016 cm−3in the p-layer as a result of the polarization charge. In the Pi-doped n-layer, a record-low electron concentration of 2.5 × 1016 cm−3is realized due to the gradual grading of Al0-0.72GaN over 1  μm. The Pi-doped p–n diodes have an ideality factor as low as 1.1 and a 0.10 V higher turn-on voltage than the impurity-doped p–n diodes due to the increase in the bandgap at the junction edge. A differential specific on-resistance of 0.1 mΩ cm2is extracted from the Pi-doped p–n diodes, similar with the impurity-doped counterpart. The Pi-doped diodes show an avalanche breakdown voltage of ∼1.25 kV, indicating a high reverse blocking capability even without an ideal edge-termination. This work confirms that distributed Pi-doping can be incorporated in high-voltage GaN power devices to increase hole concentrations while maintaining excellent junction properties.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10364177
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
American Institute of Physics
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Volume:
120
Issue:
12
ISSN:
0003-6951
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 122111
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs) have come full-circle in the past 10 years after their demonstration in the early 1990s as the fastest room-temperature semiconductor oscillator, displaying experimental results up to 712 GHz and fmax values exceeding 1.0 THz [1]. Now the RTD is once again the preeminent electronic oscillator above 1.0 THz and is being implemented as a coherent source [2] and a self-oscillating mixer [3], amongst other applications. This paper concerns RTD electroluminescence – an effect that has been studied very little in the past 30+ years of RTD development, and not at room temperature. We present experiments and modeling of an n-type In0.53Ga0.47As/AlAs double-barrier RTD operating as a cross-gap light emitter at ~300K. The MBE-growth stack is shown in Fig. 1(a). A 15-μm-diam-mesa device was defined by standard planar processing including a top annular ohmic contact with a 5-μm-diam pinhole in the center to couple out enough of the internal emission for accurate free-space power measurements [4]. The emission spectra have the behavior displayed in Fig. 1(b), parameterized by bias voltage (VB). The long wavelength emission edge is at  = 1684 nm - close to the In0.53Ga0.47As bandgap energy of Ug ≈ 0.75 eV at 300 K. The spectral peaks for VB = 2.8 and 3.0 V both occur around  = 1550 nm (h = 0.75 eV), so blue-shifted relative to the peak of the “ideal”, bulk InGaAs emission spectrum shown in Fig. 1(b) [5]. These results are consistent with the model displayed in Fig. 1(c), whereby the broad emission peak is attributed to the radiative recombination between electrons accumulated on the emitter side, and holes generated on the emitter side by interband tunneling with current density Jinter. The blue-shifted main peak is attributed to the quantum-size effect on the emitter side, which creates a radiative recombination rate RN,2 comparable to the band-edge cross-gap rate RN,1. Further support for this model is provided by the shorter wavelength and weaker emission peak shown in Fig. 1(b) around = 1148 nm. Our quantum mechanical calculations attribute this to radiative recombination RR,3 in the RTD quantum well between the electron ground-state level E1,e, and the hole level E1,h. To further test the model and estimate quantum efficiencies, we conducted optical power measurements using a large-area Ge photodiode located ≈3 mm away from the RTD pinhole, and having spectral response between 800 and 1800 nm with a peak responsivity of ≈0.85 A/W at  =1550 nm. Simultaneous I-V and L-V plots were obtained and are plotted in Fig. 2(a) with positive bias on the top contact (emitter on the bottom). The I-V curve displays a pronounced NDR region having a current peak-to-valley current ratio of 10.7 (typical for In0.53Ga0.47As RTDs). The external quantum efficiency (EQE) was calculated from EQE = e∙IP/(∙IE∙h) where IP is the photodiode dc current and IE the RTD current. The plot of EQE is shown in Fig. 2(b) where we see a very rapid rise with VB, but a maximum value (at VB= 3.0 V) of only ≈2×10-5. To extract the internal quantum efficiency (IQE), we use the expression EQE= c ∙i ∙r ≡ c∙IQE where ci, and r are the optical-coupling, electrical-injection, and radiative recombination efficiencies, respectively [6]. Our separate optical calculations yield c≈3.4×10-4 (limited primarily by the small pinhole) from which we obtain the curve of IQE plotted in Fig. 2(b) (right-hand scale). The maximum value of IQE (again at VB = 3.0 V) is 6.0%. From the implicit definition of IQE in terms of i and r given above, and the fact that the recombination efficiency in In0.53Ga0.47As is likely limited by Auger scattering, this result for IQE suggests that i might be significantly high. To estimate i, we have used the experimental total current of Fig. 2(a), the Kane two-band model of interband tunneling [7] computed in conjunction with a solution to Poisson’s equation across the entire structure, and a rate-equation model of Auger recombination on the emitter side [6] assuming a free-electron density of 2×1018 cm3. We focus on the high-bias regime above VB = 2.5 V of Fig. 2(a) where most of the interband tunneling should occur in the depletion region on the collector side [Jinter,2 in Fig. 1(c)]. And because of the high-quality of the InGaAs/AlAs heterostructure (very few traps or deep levels), most of the holes should reach the emitter side by some combination of drift, diffusion, and tunneling through the valence-band double barriers (Type-I offset) between InGaAs and AlAs. The computed interband current density Jinter is shown in Fig. 3(a) along with the total current density Jtot. At the maximum Jinter (at VB=3.0 V) of 7.4×102 A/cm2, we get i = Jinter/Jtot = 0.18, which is surprisingly high considering there is no p-type doping in the device. When combined with the Auger-limited r of 0.41 and c ≈ 3.4×10-4, we find a model value of IQE = 7.4% in good agreement with experiment. This leads to the model values for EQE plotted in Fig. 2(b) - also in good agreement with experiment. Finally, we address the high Jinter and consider a possible universal nature of the light-emission mechanism. Fig. 3(b) shows the tunneling probability T according to the Kane two-band model in the three materials, In0.53Ga0.47As, GaAs, and GaN, following our observation of a similar electroluminescence mechanism in GaN/AlN RTDs (due to strong polarization field of wurtzite structures) [8]. The expression is Tinter = (2/9)∙exp[(-2 ∙Ug 2 ∙me)/(2h∙P∙E)], where Ug is the bandgap energy, P is the valence-to-conduction-band momentum matrix element, and E is the electric field. Values for the highest calculated internal E fields for the InGaAs and GaN are also shown, indicating that Tinter in those structures approaches values of ~10-5. As shown, a GaAs RTD would require an internal field of ~6×105 V/cm, which is rarely realized in standard GaAs RTDs, perhaps explaining why there have been few if any reports of room-temperature electroluminescence in the GaAs devices. [1] E.R. Brown,et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 58, 2291, 1991. [5] S. Sze, Physics of Semiconductor Devices, 2nd Ed. 12.2.1 (Wiley, 1981). [2] M. Feiginov et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., 99, 233506, 2011. [6] L. Coldren, Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits, (Wiley, 1995). [3] Y. Nishida et al., Nature Sci. Reports, 9, 18125, 2019. [7] E.O. Kane, J. of Appl. Phy 32, 83 (1961). [4] P. Fakhimi, et al., 2019 DRC Conference Digest. [8] T. Growden, et al., Nature Light: Science & Applications 7, 17150 (2018). [5] S. Sze, Physics of Semiconductor Devices, 2nd Ed. 12.2.1 (Wiley, 1981). [6] L. Coldren, Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits, (Wiley, 1995). [7] E.O. Kane, J. of Appl. Phy 32, 83 (1961). [8] T. Growden, et al., Nature Light: Science & Applications 7, 17150 (2018). 
    more » « less
  2. Large area (1 mm2) vertical NiO/βn-Ga2O/n+Ga2O3heterojunction rectifiers are demonstrated with simultaneous high breakdown voltage and large conducting currents. The devices showed breakdown voltages (VB) of 3.6 kV for a drift layer doping of 8 × 1015cm−3, with 4.8 A forward current. This performance is higher than the unipolar 1D limit for GaN, showing the promise ofβ-Ga2O3for future generations of high-power rectification devices. The breakdown voltage was a strong function of drift region carrier concentration, with VBdropping to 1.76 kV for epi layer doping of 2 × 1016cm−3. The power figure-of-merit, VB2/RON, was 8.64 GW·cm−2, where RONis the on-state resistance (1.5 mΩ cm2). The on-off ratio switching from 12 to 0 V was 2.8 × 1013, while it was 2 × 1012switching from 100 V. The turn-on voltage was 1.8 V. The reverse recovery time was 42 ns, with a reverse recovery current of 34 mA.

     
    more » « less
  3. Ultra-violet light emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) and lasers based on the III-Nitride material system are very promising since they enable compact, safe, and efficient solid-state sources of UV light for a range of applications. The primary challenges for UV LEDs are related to the poor conductivity of p-AlGaN layers and the low light extraction efficiency of LED structures. Tunnel junction-based UV LEDs provide a distinct and unique pathway to eliminate several challenges associated with UV LEDs1-4. In this work, we present for the first time, a reversed-polarization (p-down) AlGaN based UV-LED utilizing bottom tunnel junction (BTJ) design. We show that compositional grading enables us to achieve the lowest reported voltage drop of 1.1 V at 20 A/cm2 among transparent AlGaN based tunnel junctions at this Al-composition. Compared to conventional LED design, a p-down structure offers lower voltage drop because the depletion barrier for both holes and electrons is lower due to polarization fields aligning with the depletion field. Furthermore, the bottom tunnel junction also allows us to use polarization grading to realize better p- and n-type doping to improve tunneling transport. The epitaxial structure of the UV-LED was grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) on metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD)-grown n-type Al0.3Ga0.7N templates. The transparent TJ was grown using graded n++-Al0.3Ga0.7N→ n++-Al0.4Ga0.6N (Si=3×1020 cm-3) and graded p++-Al0.4Ga0.6N →p++-Al0.3Ga0.7N (Mg=1×1020 cm-3) to take advantage of induced 3D polarization charges. The high number of charges at the tunnel junction region leads to lower depletion width and efficient hole injection to the p-type layer. The UV LED active region consists of three 2.5 nm Al0.2Ga0.8N quantum wells and 7 nm Al0.3Ga0.6N quantum barriers followed by 12 nm of p- Al0.46Ga0.64N electron blocking layer (EBL). The active region was grown on top of the tunnel junction. A similar LED with p-up configuration was also grown to compare the electrical performance. The surface morphology examined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows smooth growth features with a surface roughness of 1.9 nm. The dendritic features on the surface are characteristic of high Si doping on the surface. The composition of each layer was extracted from the scan by high resolution x-ray diffraction (HR-XRD). The electrical characteristics of a device show a voltage drop of 4.9 V at 20 A/cm2, which corresponds to a tunnel junction voltage drop of ~ 1.1 V. This is the best lowest voltage for transparent 30% AlGaN tunnel junctions to-date and is comparable with the lowest voltage drop reported previously on non-transparent (InGaN-based) tunnel junctions at similar Al mole fraction AlGaN. On-wafer electroluminescence measurements on patterned light-emitting diodes showed single peak emission wavelength of 325 nm at 100 A/cm2 which corresponds to Al0.2Ga0.8N, confirming that efficient hole injection was achieved within the structure. The device exhibits a wavelength shift from 330 nm to 325 nm with increasing current densities from 10A/cm2 to 100A/cm2. In summary, we have demonstrated a fully transparent bottom AlGaN homojunction tunnel junction that enables p-down reversed polarization ultraviolet light emitting diodes, and has very low voltage drop at the tunnel junction. This work could enable new flexibility in the design of future III-Nitride ultraviolet LEDs and lasers. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    We demonstrate that the residual carbon concentration in the drift region can have a significant impact on the reverse leakage, breakdown voltage, and breakdown stability of GaN-on-GaN vertical diodes. Two generations (Gen1, Gen2) of polarization-doped p-n junctions with different C concentrations were compared, in terms of avalanche voltage, avalanche instability, and deep-level concentration. The original results collected within this paper show that: 1) both generations of devices can safely reach the avalanche regime; diodes with a lower residual CN have a higher reverse leakage and a lower avalanche voltage, due to an uneven distribution of the electric field; 2) the presence of residual carbon can lead to breakdown walkout, i.e. a recoverable increase in breakdown voltage under reverse-bias stress. Specifically, devices with higher C concentration show a fully-recoverable breakdown walk-out, whereas the breakdown voltage is stable in devices with lowerC concentration;and 3) steady-state photocapacitance measurements confirm the presence of CN in both generations, and are used to assess the relative difference in concentration between Gen1 and Gen2, even for levels below secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) sensitivity. The results described in this paper indicate the existence of a trade-off between breakdown voltage (increasing by improving compensation) and breakdown stability (improving by reducing CN concentration) and are of fundamental importance for the optimization of GaN power devices. 
    more » « less
  5. Recently, the use of bottom-TJ geometry in LEDs, which achieves N-polar-like alignment of polarization fields in conventional metal-polar orientations, has enabled enhancements in LED performance due to improved injection efficiency. Here, we elucidate the root causes behind the enhanced injection efficiency by employing mature laser diode structures with optimized heterojunction GaN/In0.17Ga0.83N/GaN TJs and UID GaN spacers to separate the optical mode from the heavily doped absorbing p-cladding regions. In such laser structures, polarization offsets at the electron blocking layer, spacer, and quantum barrier interfaces play discernable roles in carrier transport. By comparing a top-TJ structure to a bottom-TJ structure, and correlating features in the electroluminescence, capacitance-voltage, and current-voltage characteristics to unique signatures of the N- and Ga-polar polarization heterointerfaces in energy band diagram simulations, we identify that improved hole injection at low currents, and improved electron blocking at high currents, leads to higher injection efficiency and higher output power for the bottom-TJ device throughout 5 orders of current density (0.015–1000 A/cm2). Moreover, even with the addition of a UID GaN spacer, differential resistances are state-of-the-art, below 7 × 10−4Ωcm2. These results highlight the virtues of the bottom-TJ geometry for use in high-efficiency laser diodes.

     
    more » « less