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Interplay between C-doping, threading dislocations, breakdown, and leakage in GaN on Si HEMT structures

: Besendörfer, S.; Meissner, E.; Zweipfennig, T.; Yacoub, H.; Fahle, D.; Behmenburg, H.; Kalisch, H.; Vescan, A.; Friedrich, J.; Erlbacher, T.

Volltext ()

AIP Advances 10 (2020), Nr.4, Art. 045028, 7 S.
ISSN: 2158-3226
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IISB ()
aluminum alloy; aluminum gallium nitride; etching; gallium nitride; III-V semiconductors; nanocrystalline materials; screw dislocation; semiconductor alloys; silicon

This work describes electrical characteristics and the correlation to material properties of high electron mobility transistor structures with a C-doped GaN current blocking layer, grown either by an extrinsic or auto-doping process with different doping levels. Increasing degradation of crystalline quality in terms of threading dislocation density for increasing C-doping levels was observed for all samples. Different growth conditions used for the auto-doped samples played no role for overall degradation, but a higher fraction of threading screw dislocations was observed. Independent of the doping process, 90% of all TSDs were noted to act as strong leakage current paths through the AlGaN barrier. This was found statistically and was directly verified by conductive atomic force microscopy in direct correlation with defect selective etching. Vertical breakdown was observed to increase with increasing C-concentration and saturated for C-concentrations above around 1019 cm-3. This was attributed to an increasing compensation of free charge carriers until self-compensation takes place. A progressive influence of TDs for high C-concentrations might also play a role but could not be explicitly revealed for our material.