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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 22, 2024
  2. We report the detailed mechanism behind the β to γ phase transformation in Sn-doped and Si-implanted Ga2O3 that we determined based on the direct observation of the atomic scale structure using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Quantitative analysis of the STEM images revealed that the high concentration of impurity atoms favored the formation of interstitial–divacancy complexes, which then leads to the secondary relaxation that creates additional interstitial atoms and cation vacancies, resulting in a local structure that closely resembles γ-Ga2O3. We explain the mechanism of how the impurity atoms facilitate the transformation, as well as the detailed sequence of the local γ phase transformation. The findings here offer an insight on how the lattice respond to the external stimuli, such as doping and strain, and transform into different structures, which is important for advancing Ga2O3 but also a variety of low symmetry crystals and oxides with multiple polymorphs.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 19, 2024
  3. Phase pure β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 thin films are grown on (001) oriented β-Ga 2 O 3 substrates via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. By systematically tuning the precursor molar flow rates, the epitaxial growth of coherently strained β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films is demonstrated with up to 25% Al compositions as evaluated by high resolution x-ray diffraction. The asymmetrical reciprocal space mapping confirms the growth of coherent β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films (x < 25%) on (001) β-Ga 2 O 3 substrates. However, the alloy inhomogeneity with local segregation of Al along the ([Formula: see text]) plane is observed from atomic resolution STEM imaging, resulting in wavy and inhomogeneous interfaces in the β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 /β-Ga 2 O 3 superlattice structure. Room temperature Raman spectra of β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films show similar characteristics peaks as the (001) β-Ga 2 O 3 substrate without obvious Raman shifts for films with different Al compositions. Atom probe tomography was used to investigate the atomic level structural chemistry with increasing Al content in the β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films. A monotonous increase in chemical heterogeneity is observed from the in-plane Al/Ga distributions, which was further confirmed via statistical frequency distribution analysis. Although the films exhibit alloy fluctuations, n-type doping demonstrates good electrical properties for films with various Al compositions. The determined valence and conduction band offsets at β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 /β-Ga 2 O 3 heterojunctions using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal the formation of type-II (staggered) band alignment. 
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  4. Epitaxial growth of κ-phase Ga 2 O 3 thin films is investigated on c-plane sapphire, GaN- and AlN-on-sapphire, and (100) oriented yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) substrates via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. The structural and surface morphological properties are investigated by comprehensive material characterization. Phase pure κ-Ga 2 O 3 films are successfully grown on GaN-, AlN-on-sapphire, and YSZ substrates through a systematical tuning of growth parameters including the precursor molar flow rates, chamber pressure, and growth temperature, whereas the growth on c-sapphire substrates leads to a mixture of β- and κ-polymorphs of Ga 2 O 3 under the investigated growth conditions. The influence of the crystalline structure, surface morphology, and roughness of κ-Ga 2 O 3 films grown on different substrates are investigated as a function of precursor flow rate. High-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging of κ-Ga 2 O 3 films reveals abrupt interfaces between the epitaxial film and the sapphire, GaN, and YSZ substrates. The growth of single crystal orthorhombic κ-Ga 2 O 3 films is confirmed by analyzing the scanning transmission electron microscopy nanodiffraction pattern. The chemical composition, surface stoichiometry, and bandgap energies of κ-Ga 2 O 3 thin films grown on different substrates are studied by high-resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements. The type-II (staggered) band alignments at three interfaces between κ-Ga 2 O 3 and c-sapphire, AlN, and YSZ substrates are determined by XPS, with an exception of κ-Ga 2 O 3 /GaN interface, which shows type-I (straddling) band alignment. 
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  5. Metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growths of β-Ga 2 O 3 on on-axis (100) Ga 2 O 3 substrates are comprehensively investigated. Key MOCVD growth parameters including growth temperature, pressure, group VI/III molar flow rate ratio, and carrier gas flow rate are mapped. The dependence of the growth conditions is correlated with surface morphology, growth rate, and electron transport properties of the MOCVD grown (100) β-Ga 2 O 3 thin films. Lower shroud gas (argon) flow is found to enhance the surface smoothness with higher room temperature (RT) electron Hall mobility. The growth rate of the films decreases but with an increase of electron mobility as the VI/III molar flow rate ratio increases. Although no significant variation on the surface morphologies is observed at different growth temperatures, the general trend of electron Hall mobilities are found to increase with increasing growth temperature. The growth rates reduce significantly with uniform surface morphologies as the chamber pressure increases. By tuning the silane flow rate, the controllable carrier concentration of (100) β-Ga 2 O 3 thin films between low-10 17  cm −3 and low-10 18  cm −3 was achieved. Under optimized growth condition, an (100) β-Ga 2 O 3 thin film with RMS roughness value of 1.64 nm and a RT mobility of 24 cm 2 /Vs at a carrier concentration of 7.0 × 10 17  cm −3 are demonstrated. The mobilities are primarily limited by the twin lamellae and stacking faults defects generated from the growth interface. Atomic resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy reveals the formation of twin boundary defects in the films, resulting in the degradation of crystalline quality. Results from this work provide fundamental understanding of the MOCVD epitaxy of (100) β-Ga 2 O 3 on on-axis Ga 2 O 3 substrates and the dependence of the material properties on growth conditions. The limitation of electron transport properties of the (100) β-Ga 2 O 3 thin films below 25 cm 2 /Vs is attributed to the formation of incoherent boundaries (twin lamellae) and stacking faults grown along the on-axis (100) crystal orientation. 
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  6. The in situ metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth of Al 2 O 3 dielectrics on β-Ga 2 O 3 and β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films is investigated as a function of crystal orientations and Al compositions of β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films. The interface and film qualities of Al 2 O 3 dielectrics are evaluated by high-resolution x-ray diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging, which indicate the growth of high-quality amorphous Al 2 O 3 dielectrics with abrupt interfaces on (010), (100), and [Formula: see text] oriented β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films. The surface stoichiometries of Al 2 O 3 deposited on all orientations of β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 are found to be well maintained with a bandgap energy of 6.91 eV as evaluated by high-resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, which is consistent with the atomic layer deposited (ALD) Al 2 O 3 dielectrics. The evolution of band offsets at both in situ MOCVD and ex situ ALD deposited Al 2 O 3 /β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 is determined as a function of Al composition, indicating the influence of the deposition method, orientation, and Al composition of β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films on resulting band alignments. Type II band alignments are determined at the MOCVD grown Al 2 O 3 /β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 interfaces for the (010) and (100) orientations, whereas type I band alignments with relatively low conduction band offsets are observed along the [Formula: see text] orientation. The results from this study on MOCVD growth and band offsets of amorphous Al 2 O 3 deposited on differently oriented β-Ga 2 O 3 and β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films will potentially contribute to the design and fabrication of future high-performance β-Ga 2 O 3 and β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 based transistors using MOCVD in situ deposited Al 2 O 3 as a gate dielectric. 
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  7. Ultra-wide band gap semiconductor devices based on β-phase gallium oxide (Ga2O3) offer the potential to achieve higher switching performance and efficiency and lower manufacturing cost than that of today’s wide band gap power electronics. However, the most critical challenge to the commercialization of Ga2O3 electronics is overheating, which impacts the device performance and reliability. We fabricated a Ga2O3/4H–SiC composite wafer using a fusion-bonding method. A low-temperature (≤600 °C) epitaxy and device processing scheme was developed to fabricate MOSFETs on the composite wafer. The low-temperature-grown epitaxial Ga2O3 devices deliver high thermal performance (56% reduction in channel temperature) and a power figure of merit of (∼300 MW/cm2), which is the highest among heterogeneously integrated Ga2O3 devices reported to date. Simulations calibrated based on thermal characterization results of the Ga2O3-on-SiC MOSFET reveal that a Ga2O3/diamond composite wafer with a reduced Ga2O3 thickness (∼1 μm) and a thinner bonding interlayer (<10 nm) can reduce the device thermal impedance to a level lower than that of today’s GaN-on-SiC power switches. 
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