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Title: Atomic-scale characterization of structural damage and recovery in Sn ion-implanted β-Ga2O3

β-Ga2O3 is an emerging ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor, holding a tremendous potential for power-switching devices for next-generation high power electronics. The performance of such devices strongly relies on the precise control of electrical properties of β-Ga2O3, which can be achieved by implantation of dopant ions. However, a detailed understanding of the impact of ion implantation on the structure of β-Ga2O3 remains elusive. Here, using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy, we investigate the nature of structural damage in ion-implanted β-Ga2O3 and its recovery upon heat treatment with the atomic-scale spatial resolution. We reveal that upon Sn ion implantation, Ga2O3 films undergo a phase transformation from the monoclinic β-phase to the defective cubic spinel γ-phase, which contains high-density antiphase boundaries. Using the planar defect models proposed for the γ-Al2O3, which has the same space group as β-Ga2O3, and atomic-resolution microscopy images, we identify that the observed antiphase boundaries are the {100}1/4 ⟨110⟩ type in cubic structure. We show that post-implantation annealing at 1100 °C under the N2 atmosphere effectively recovers the β-phase; however, nano-sized voids retained within the β-phase structure and a γ-phase surface layer are identified as remanent damage. Our results offer an atomic-scale insight into the structural evolution of β-Ga2O3 under ion implantation and high-temperature annealing, which is key to the optimization of semiconductor processing conditions for relevant device design and the theoretical understanding of defect formation and phase stability.

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Publisher / Repository:
American Institute of Physics
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Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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