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Atomic layer deposition of aluminum oxide for surface passivation of InGaAs/InP heterojunction bipolar transistors

: Driad, R.; Benkhelifa, F.; Kirste, L.; Mikulla, M.; Ambacher, O.


Journal of the Electrochemical Society 158 (2011), No.12, pp.H1279-H1283
ISSN: 0013-4651
ISSN: 1945-7111
ISSN: 0096-4786
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAF ()

In this paper, the growth and material properties of Al2O3 layers grown by thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) with water vapor, and plasma ALD with oxygen plasma are examined by spectroscopic ellipsometry and X-ray reflectivity on Si substrates and InGaAs/InP epilayers. The thermal-ALD and plasma-ALD deposited Al2O3 layers have subsequently been used to passivate the surface of InGaAs/InP heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs). The impact and efficiency of the ALD-Al2O3 passivation layers have been evaluated using the dc current gain and breakdown voltage of the InGaAs/InP HBTs. For comparison, the results from these experiments are contrasted with results from similar samples passivated with SiO2 using conventional plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The thermal-ALD-Al2O3 passivated InGaAs/InP HBTs show higher current gains as compared to structures passivated using the plasma-ALD or PECVD processes, suggesting differences in the dielectric-semiconductor interface properties. More importantly, as compared to PECVD-SiO2, the common emitter characteristics of both (thermal and plasma) ALD-Al2O3 passivated HBTs show fairly stable device breakdown voltage, which is of particular importance, especially in analog applications.