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Influence of the surface potential on electrical properties of Al(x)Ga(1-x)N/GaN heterostructures with different Al-content: Effect of growth method

  • Köhler, K.
  • Müller, S.
  • Aidam, R.
  • Waltereit, P.
  • Pletschen, W.
  • Kirste, L.
  • Menner, H.
  • Bronner, W.
  • Leuther, A.
  • Quay, R.
  • Mikulla, M.
  • Ambacher, O.
  • Granzner, R.
  • Schwierz, F.
  • Buchheim, C.
  • Goldhahn, R.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2010
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The influence of the growth method on the surface potential and thus on the sheet carrier concentration of GaN capped Al(x)Ga(1-x)N/GaN heterostructures was evaluated. Nominally undoped low pressure metal-organic vapor-phase (MOVPE) and plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxial (PA-MBE) grown structures with an Al-content between 12% and 30% yield carrier concentrations from 3.6x10(12) to 1.2x10(13) cm(-2). A difference of the concentrations for a fixed Al-content was found between the different epitaxial techniques. This result indicates unambiguously different surface potentials determined quantitatively from the carrier concentration, and is verified in addition by the results of photoreflectance spectroscopy. The GaN surface potentials of MOVPE and PA-MBE grown samples amounts to (0.26+-0.04) and (0.61+-0.10) eV irrespective of the Al-content of the barrier layer. After device fabrication, we find that due to the identical surface potential defined by the Ni Schottky gate, the threshold voltage for a given Al-content is the same for samples grown with different techniques. Thus, the interplay between epitaxy and process technology defines the threshold voltage.

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