-A A +A
This paper reports an investigation of the structural, chemical and electrical properties of ultra-thin (5 nm) aluminum nitride (AlN) films grown by plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD) on gallium nitride (GaN). A uniform and conformal coverage of the GaN substrate was demonstrated by morphological analyses of as-deposited AlN films. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analyses showed a sharp epitaxial interface with GaN for the first AlN atomic layers, while a deviation from the perfect wurtzite stacking and oxygen contamination were detected in the upper part of the film. This epitaxial interface resulted in the formation of a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) with a sheet charge density ns ≈ 1.45 × 1012 cm−2, revealed by Hg-probe capacitance–voltage (C–V) analyses. Nanoscale resolution current mapping and current–voltage (I–V) measurements by conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) showed a highly homogeneous current transport through the 5 nm AlN barrier, while a uniform flat-band voltage (VFB ≈ 0.3 V) for the AlN/GaN heterostructure was demonstrated by scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM). Electron transport through the AlN film was shown to follow the Fowler–Nordheim (FN) tunneling mechanism with an average barrier height of = 2.08 eV, in good agreement with the expected AlN/GaN conduction band offset.
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Publication date: 
1 Dec 2021

Emanuela Schilirò, Filippo Giannazzo, Salvatore Di Franco, Giuseppe Greco, Patrick Fiorenza, Fabrizio Roccaforte, Paweł Prystawko, Piotr Kruszewski, Mike Leszczynski, Ildiko Cora, Béla Pécz, Zsolt Fogarassy, Raffaella Lo Nigro

Biblio References: 
Volume: 11 Issue: 12 Pages: 3316