skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on March 24, 2023

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 more » incorporated in high-voltage GaN power devices to increase hole concentrations while maintaining excellent junction properties.

« less
Authors:
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10364177
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Volume:
120
Issue:
12
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 122111
ISSN:
0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics
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.more »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).« less
  2. 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 (improvingmore »by reducing CN concentration) and are of fundamental importance for the optimization of GaN power devices.« less
  3. 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.

  4. The discovery of oxide electronics is of increasing importance today as one of the most promising new technologies and manufacturing processes for a variety of electronic and optoelectronic applications such as next-generation displays, batteries, solar cells, and photodetectors. The high potential use seen in oxide electronics is due primarily to their high carrier mobilities and their ability to be fabricated at low temperatures. However, since the majority of oxide semiconductors are n-type oxides, current applications are limited to unipolar devices, eventually developing oxide-based bipolar devices such as p-n diodes and complementary metal-oxide semiconductors. We have contributed to wide range of oxide semiconductors and their electronics and optoelectronic device applications. Particularly, we have demonstrated n-type oxide-based thin film transistors (TFT), integrating In2O3-based n-type oxide semiconductors from binary cation materials to ternary cation species including InZnO, InGaZnO (IGZO), and InAlZnO. We have suggested channel/metallization contact strategies to achieve stable TFT performance, identified vacancy-based native defect doping mechanisms, suggested interfacial buffer layers to promote charge injection capability, and established the role of third cation species on the carrier generation and carrier transport. More recently, we have reported facile manufacturing of p-type SnOx through reactive magnetron sputtering from a Sn metal target. The fabricatedmore »p-SnOx was found to be devoid of metallic phase of Sn from x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and demonstrated stable performance in a fully oxide based p-n heterojunction together with n-InGaZnO. The oxide-based p-n junctions exhibited a high rectification ratio greater than 103 at ±3 V, a low saturation current of ~2x10-10, and a small turn-on voltage of -0.5 V. With all the previous achievements and investigations about p-type oxide semiconductors, challenges remain for implementing p-type oxide realization. For the implementation of oxide-based p-n heterojunctions, the performance needs to be further enhanced. The current on/off ration may be limited, in our device structure, due to either high reverse saturation current (or current density) or non-ideal performance. In this study, two rational strategies are suggested to introduce an “intrinsic” layer, which is expected to reduce the reverse saturation current between p-SnOx and n-IGZO and hence increase the on/off ratio. The carrier density of n-IGZO is engineered in-situ during the sputtering process, by which compositionally homogeneous IGZO with significantly reduced carrier density is formed at the interface. Then, higher carrier density IGZO is formed continuously on the lower carrier density IGZO during the sputtering process without any exposure of the sample to the air. Alternatively, heterogeneous oxides of MgO and SiO2 are integrated into between p-SnOx and n-IGZO, by which the defects on the surface can be passivated. The interfacial properties are thoroughly investigated using transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The I-V characteristics are compared between the set of devices integrated with two types of “intrinsic” layers. The current research results are expected to contribute to the development of p-type oxides and their industrial application manufacturing process that meets current processing requirements, such as mass production in p-type oxide semiconductors.« less
  5. Cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells are a promising photovoltaic (PV) technology for producing power in space owing to their high-efficiency (> 22.1 %), potential for specific power, and cost-effective manufacturing processes. In contrast to traditional space PVs, the high-Z (atomic number) CdTe absorbers can be intrinsically robust under extreme space radiation, offering long-term stability. Despite these advantages, the performance assessment of CdTe solar cells under high-energy particle irradiation (e.g., photons, neutrons, charged particles) is limited in the literature, and their stability is not comprehensively studied. In this work, we present the PV response of n-CdS / p-CdTe PVs under accelerated neutron irradiation. We measure PV properties of the devices at different neutron/photon doses. The equivalent dose deposited in the CdTe samples is simulated with deterministic and Monte Carlo radiation transport methods. Thin-film CdTe solar cells were synthesized on a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) coated glass substrate (≈ 4 cm × 4 cm). CdS:O (≈ 100 nm) was reactively RF sputtered in an oxygen/argon ambient followed by a close-spaced sublimation deposition of CdTe (≈ 3.5 μm) in an oxygen/helium ambient. The sample was exposed to a 10 min vapor CdCl2 in oxygen/helium ambient at 430˚C. The samples were exposed to amore »wet CuCl2 solution prior to anneal 200ºC. A gold back-contact was formed on CdTe via thermal evaporation. The final sample contains 16 CdTe devices. For neutron irradiation, we cleaved the CdTe substrate into four samples and exposed two samples to ≈ 90 kW reactor power neutron radiation for 5.5 hours and 8.2 hours, respectively, in our TRIGA (Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics) reactor. We observed a noticeable color change of the glass substrates to brown after the neutron/gamma reactor exposure. Presumably, the injected high-energy neutrons caused the breaking of chemical bonds and the displacement of atoms in the glass substrates, creating point defects and color centers. The I-V characteristics showed noticeable deterioration with over 8 hour radiations. Specifically, the saturation current of the control devices was ≈ 25 nA increasing to 1 μA and 10 μA for the 5.5-hour and 8.2-hour radiated samples, respectively. The turn-on voltage of the control devices (≈ 0.85 V) decreased with the irradiated sample (≈ 0.75 V for 5.5-hour and ≈ 0.5 V for 8.2-hour exposures), implying noticeable radiation damage occurred at the heterojunction. The higher values of the ideality factor for irradiated devices (n > 2.2) compared to that of the control devices (n ≈ 1.3) also support the deterioration of the p-n junction. We observed the notable decrease in shunt resistance (RSH) and the increase in series resistance (Rs) with the neutron dose. It is possible that Cu ions introduced during the CuCl2 treatment may migrate into CdTe grain boundaries (GBs). The presence of Cu ions at GBs can create additional leakage paths for photocarrier transport, deteriorating the overall PV performance. We estimated the radiation dose of CdTe in comparison to Si (conventional PV) using a UUTR model (e.g., MCNP6 2D UTR Reactor simulations). In this model, we simulated Si and CdTe at the center point of the triangular fuel lattice and used an “unperturbed flux” tally in the water. Our simulations yielded a dose rate of 6916 Gy/s of neutrons and 16 Gy/s of photons for CdTe, and 1 Gy/s of neutrons and 21 Gy/s of photons for Si (doses +/- <1%). The large dose rate of neutrons in CdTe is mainly attributed to the large thermal neutron absorption cross-section of 113Cd. Based on this estimation, we calculate that the exposure of our CdTe PVs is equivalent to several million years in LEO (Low-Earth Orbit), or about 10,000 years for Si in LEO. Currently, we are working on a low-dose neutron/photon radiation on CdTe PVs and their light I-Vs and microstructural characterizations to gain better understanding on the degradation of CdTe PVs.« less