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Title: Improving vertical GaN p–n diode performance with room temperature defect mitigation

Defect mitigation of electronic devices is conventionally achieved using thermal annealing. To mobilize the defects, very high temperatures are necessary. Since thermal diffusion is random in nature, the process may take a prolonged period of time. In contrast, we demonstrate a room temperature annealing technique that takes only a few seconds. The fundamental mechanism is defect mobilization by atomic scale mechanical force originating from very high current density but low duty cycle electrical pulses. The high-energy electrons lose their momentum upon collision with the defects, yet the low duty cycle suppresses any heat accumulation to keep the temperature ambient. For a 7 × 105A cm−2pulsed current, we report an approximately 26% reduction in specific on-resistance, a 50% increase of the rectification ratio with a lower ideality factor, and reverse leakage current for as-fabricated vertical geometry GaN p–n diodes. We characterize the microscopic defect density of the devices before and after the room temperature processing to explain the improvement in the electrical characteristics. Raman analysis reveals an improvement in the crystallinity of the GaN layer and an approximately 40% relaxation of any post-fabrication residual strain compared to the as-received sample. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and geometric phase analysis results of high-resolution TEM images further confirm the effectiveness of the proposed room temperature annealing technique to mitigate defects in the device. No detrimental effect, such as diffusion and/or segregation of elements, is observed as a result of applying a high-density pulsed current, as confirmed by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy mapping.

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Publisher / Repository:
IOP Publishing
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Journal Name:
Semiconductor Science and Technology
Medium: X Size: Article No. 015004
Article No. 015004
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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