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Deep donor levels -DX centers- in III-V semiconductors.

Tiefe Donatoren -DX-Zentren- in III-V Halbleitern
: Mooney, P.M.


Journal of applied physics 67 (1990), Nr.3, S.R1-R26
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer IAF ()
deep donor level; DX center; III-V Halbleiter; III-V semiconductors; tiefe Donator

DX centers, deep levels associated with donors in III-V semiconductors, have been extensively studied, not only because of their peculiar and interesting properties, but also because an understanding of the physics of these deep levels in necessary in order to determine the usefulness of III-V semiconductors for heterojunction device structures. Much progress has been made in our understanding of the electrical and optical characteristics of DX centers as well as their effects on the behavior of various device structures through systematic studies in alloys of various composition and with applied hydrostatic pressure. It is now generally believed that the DX level is a state of the isolated substitutional donor atom. The variation of the transport properties and capture and emission kinetics of the DX level with the conduction-band structure is now well understood. It has been found that the properties of the deep level when it is resonant with the conduction band, and is thus a metast able state, are similar to its characteristics when it is the stable state of the donor. And it has been consistently found that there is a large energy difference between the optical and thermal ionization energies, implying that this deep state is strongly coupled to the crystal lattice. The shifts in the emission kinetics due to the variation in the local environment of the donor atom suggest that the lattice relaxation involves the motion of an atom (the donor or a neighboring atom) from the group-III lattice site toward the interstitial site. Total energy calculations show that such a configuration is stable provided that the donor traps two electrons, i.e., has negative U. Verification of the charge state of the occupied DX level is needed as well as direct evidence for its microscopic structure.