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  1. 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 bymore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. 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 themore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2023
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  5. AlN thin films are enabling significant progress in modern optoelectronics, power electronics, and microelectromechanical systems. The various AlN growth methods and conditions lead to different film microstructures. In this report, phonon scattering mechanisms that impact the cross-plane (κ z ; along the c-axis) and in-plane (κ r ; parallel to the c-plane) thermal conductivities of AlN thin films prepared by various synthesis techniques are investigated. In contrast to bulk single crystal AlN with an isotropic thermal conductivity of ∼330 W/m K, a strong anisotropy in the thermal conductivity is observed in the thin films. The κ z shows a strong film thickness dependence due to phonon-boundary scattering. Electron microscopy reveals the presence of grain boundaries and dislocations that limit the κ r . For instance, oriented films prepared by reactive sputtering possess lateral crystalline grain sizes ranging from 20 to 40 nm that significantly lower the κ r to ∼30 W/m K. Simulation results suggest that the self-heating in AlN film bulk acoustic resonators can significantly impact the power handling capability of RF filters. A device employing an oriented film as the active piezoelectric layer shows an ∼2.5× higher device peak temperature as compared to a device based on an epitaxial film.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 7, 2023
  6. In this work, the structural and electrical properties of metalorganic chemical vapor deposited Si-doped β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 thin films grown on (010) β-Ga 2 O 3 substrates are investigated as a function of Al composition. The room temperature Hall mobility of 101 cm 2 /V s and low temperature peak mobility (T = 65 K) of 1157 cm 2 /V s at carrier concentrations of 6.56 × 10 17 and 2.30 × 10 17  cm −3 are measured from 6% Al composition samples, respectively. The quantitative secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) characterization reveals a strong dependence of Si and other unintentional impurities, such as C, H, and Cl concentrations in β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 thin films, with different Al compositions. Higher Al compositions in β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 result in lower net carrier concentrations due to the reduction of Si incorporation efficiency and the increase of C and H impurity levels that act as compensating acceptors in β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films. Lowering the growth chamber pressure reduces Si concentrations in β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films due to the increase of Al compositions as evidenced by comprehensive SIMS and Hallmore »characterizations. Due to the increase of lattice mismatch between the epifilm and substrate, higher Al compositions lead to cracking in β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films grown on β-Ga 2 O 3 substrates. The (100) cleavage plane is identified as a major cracking plane limiting the growth of high-quality Si-doped (010) β-(Al x Ga 1−x ) 2 O 3 films beyond the critical thicknesses, which leads to highly anisotropic and inhomogeneous behaviors in terms of conductivity.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 14, 2023