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The two-dimensional electron gas of the In₂O₃ surface: Enhanced thermopower, electrical transport properties, and its reduction by adsorbates or compensating acceptor doping

: Papadogianni, Alexandra; Rombach, Julius; Berthold, Theresa; Polyakov, Vladimir M.; Krischok, Stefan; Himmerlich, Marcel; Bierwagen, Oliver

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5999085 (910 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 98f1dd003f499e1c4e3dc18fb7af8bea
Created on: 5.9.2020

Online im WWW, 2020, arXiv:2003.04631, 15 pp.
Report, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IAF ()

In2O3 is an n-type transparent semiconducting oxide possessing a surface electron accumulation layer (SEAL) like several other relevant semiconductors, such as InAs, InN, SnO2, and ZnO. Even though the SEAL is within the core of the application of In2O3 in conductometric gas sensors, a consistent set of transport properties of this two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) is missing in the present literature. To this end, we investigate high quality single-crystalline as well as textured doped and undoped In2O3(111) films grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy to extract transport properties of the SEAL by means of Hall effect measurements at room temperature while controlling the oxygen adsorbate coverage via illumination. The resulting sheet electron concentration and mobility of the SEAL are 1.5E13 cm-2 and 150 cm2/Vs, respectively, both of which get strongly reduced by oxygen-related surface adsorbates from the ambient air. Our transport measurements further demonstrate a systematic reduction of the SEAL by doping In2O3 with the deep compensating bulk acceptors Ni or Mg. This finding is supported by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements of the surface band bending and SEAL electron emission. Quantitative analyses of these XPS results using self-consistent, coupled Schroedinger-Poisson calculations indicate the simultaneous formation of compensating bulk donor defects (likely oxygen vacancies) which almost completely compensate the bulk acceptors. Finally, an enhancement of the thermopower by reduced dimensionality is demonstrated in In2O3: Seebeck coefficient measurements of the surface 2DEG with partially reduced sheet electron concentrations between 3E12 and 7E12 cm-2 (corresponding average volume electron concentration between 1E19 and 2E19 cm-3 indicate a value enhanced by 80% compared to that of bulk Sn-doped In2O3 with comparable volume electron concentration.