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Polarization induced interface and electron sheet charges of pseudomorphic ScAlN/GaN, GaAlN/GaN, InAlN/GaN, and InAlN/InN heterostructures

: Ambacher, Oliver; Christian, B.; Yassine, Mohammed Fadi; Baeumler, Martina; Leone, Stefano; Quay, Rüdiger


Journal of applied physics 129 (2021), Art. 204501, 15 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer IAF ()

The piezoelectric and spontaneous polarization of wurtzite ScxAl1−xN, GaxAl1−xN, and InxAl1−xN ternary compounds dramatically affects the electrical properties of pseudomorphic MexAl1−xN/GaN, MexAl1−xN/AlN, and MexAl1−xN/InN heterostructures and devices (Me: = Sc, Ga, In), due to bound interface charges caused by gradients in polarization at surfaces and heterointerfaces. We have calculated the piezoelectric and spontaneous polarization of undoped, metal polar ScxAl1−xN barrier layers (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.5) pseudomorphically grown on InN, GaN, and AlN buffer layers, in order to compare the polarization induced surface and interface charges determined to the ones predicted and measured in heterostructures with GaxAl1−xN and InxAl1−xN barriers (0 ≤ x ≤ 1.0). To facilitate the inclusion of the predicted polarization in future simulations, we give explicit prescriptions to calculate polarization induced bound interface charges for arbitrary x and barrier thicknesses up to 50 nm in each of the ternary III-N alloy heterostructures. In addition, we predict the electron sheet charges confined in heterostructures with positive polarization induced interface charges taking limitations for the epitaxial growth by strain and critical barrier thicknesses into account. Based on these results, we provide a detailed comparison of the sheet resistances and current-carrying capabilities of the heterostructures investigated, pointing to a superior potential of ScAlN/GaN based heterostructures for processing improved high electron mobility transistors for high-frequency and power electronic applications.