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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  2. Due to its high breakdown electric field, the ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor AlGaN has garnered much attention recently as a promising channel material for next-generation high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). A comprehensive experimental study of the effects of Al composition x on the transport and structural properties is lacking. We report the charge control and transport properties of polarization-induced 2D electron gases (2DEGs) in strained AlGaN quantum well channels in molecular-beam-epitaxy-grown AlN/Al x Ga 1− x N/AlN double heterostructures by systematically varying the Al content from x = 0 (GaN) to x = 0.74, spanning energy bandgaps of the conducting HEMT channels from 3.49 to 4.9 eV measured by photoluminescence. This results in a tunable 2DEG density from 0 to 3.7 × 10 13 cm 2 . The room temperature mobilities of x ≥ 0.25 AlGaN channel HEMTs were limited by alloy disorder scattering to below 50 cm 2 /(V.s) for these 2DEG densities, leaving ample room for further heterostructure design improvements to boost mobilities. A characteristic alloy fluctuation energy of [Formula: see text] eV for electron scattering in AlGaN alloy is estimated based on the temperature dependent electron transport experiments.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  3. While the properties of β-Ga2O3 continue to be extensively studied for high-power applications, the effects of strong electric fields on the Ga2O3 microstructure and, in particular, the impact of electrically active native point defects have been relatively unexplored. We used cathodoluminescence point spectra and hyperspectral imaging to explore possible nanoscale movements of electrically charged defects in Ga2O3 vertical trench power diodes and observed the spatial rearrangement of optically active defects under strong reverse bias. These observations suggest an unequal migration of donor-related defects in β-Ga2O3 due to the applied electric field. The atomic rearrangement and possible local doping changes under extreme electric fields in β-Ga2O3 demonstrate the potential impact of nanoscale device geometry in other high-power semiconductor devices.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 17, 2024
  4. Atomic surface cleaning has enabled successful growth of ultrawide bandgap nitrogen-polar aluminum nitride semiconductors.
  5. Abstract High-quality N-polar GaN p-n diodes are realized on single-crystal N-polar GaN bulk substrate by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. The room-temperature current–voltage characteristics reveal a high on/off current ratio of >10 11 at ±4 V and an ideality factor of 1.6. As the temperature increases to 200 °C, the apparent ideality factor gradually approaches 2. At such high temperatures, Shockley–Read–Hall recombination times of 0.32–0.46 ns are estimated. The measured electroluminescence spectrum is dominated by a strong near-band edge emission, while deep level and acceptor-related luminescence is greatly suppressed.
  6. Mueller matrix spectroscopic ellipsometry is applied to determine anisotropic optical properties for a set of single-crystal rhombohedral structure α-(Al x Ga 1− x ) 2 O 3 thin films (0 [Formula: see text] x [Formula: see text] 1). Samples are grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy on m-plane sapphire. A critical-point model is used to render a spectroscopic model dielectric function tensor and to determine direct electronic band-to-band transition parameters, including the direction dependent two lowest-photon energy band-to-band transitions associated with the anisotropic bandgap. We obtain the composition dependence of the direction dependent two lowest band-to-band transitions with separate bandgap bowing parameters associated with the perpendicular ([Formula: see text] = 1.31 eV) and parallel ([Formula: see text] = 1.61 eV) electric field polarization to the lattice c direction. Our density functional theory calculations indicate a transition from indirect to direct characteristics between α-Ga 2 O 3 and α-Al 2 O 3 , respectively, and we identify a switch in band order where the lowest band-to-band transition occurs with polarization perpendicular to c in α-Ga 2 O 3 whereas for α-Al 2 O 3 the lowest transition occurs with polarization parallel to c. We estimate that the change in band order occurs atmore »approximately 40% Al content. Additionally, the characteristic of the lowest energy critical point transition for polarization parallel to c changes from M 1 type in α-Ga 2 O 3 to M 0 type van Hove singularity in α-Al 2 O 3 .« less
  7. AlScN is attractive as a lattice-matched epitaxial barrier layer for incorporation in GaN high electron mobility transistors due to its large dielectric constant and polarization. The transport properties of polarization-induced two-dimensional (2D) electron gas of densities of ∼2×1013/cm2 formed at the AlScN–GaN interface is studied by Hall-effect measurements down to cryogenic temperatures. The 2D electron gas densities exhibit mobilities limited to ∼300 cm2/V s down to 10 K at AlScN/GaN heterojunctions. The insertion of a ∼2 nm AlN interlayer boosts the room temperature mobility by more than five times from ∼300 cm2/V s to ∼1573 cm2/V s, and the 10 K mobility by more than 20 times to ∼6980 cm2/V s at 10 K. These measurements provide guidelines to the limits of electron conductivities of these highly polar heterostructures.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 7, 2023
  8. The polarization difference and band offset between Al(Ga)N and GaN induce two-dimensional (2D) free carriers in Al(Ga)N/GaN heterojunctions without any chemical doping. A high-density 2D electron gas (2DEG), analogous to the recently discovered 2D hole gas in a metal-polar structure, is predicted in a N-polar pseudomorphic GaN/Al(Ga)N heterostructure on unstrained AlN. We report the observation of such 2DEGs in N-polar undoped pseudomorphic GaN/AlGaN heterostructures on single-crystal AlN substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. With a high electron density of ∼4.3 ×1013/cm2 that maintains down to cryogenic temperatures and a room temperature electron mobility of ∼450 cm2/V s, a sheet resistance as low as ∼320 Ω/◻ is achieved in a structure with an 8 nm GaN layer. These results indicate significant potential of AlN platform for future high-power RF electronics based on N-polar III-nitride high electron mobility transistors.