Thermal stability of Schottky contacts on strained AlGaN/GaN heterostructures

Zhaojun Lin; Hyeongnam Kim, D.-L.; Jaesun Lee; Wu Lu
March 2004
Applied Physics Letters;3/1/2004, Vol. 84 Issue 9, p1585
Academic Journal
The thermal stability of Ni Schottky contacts on strained Al[sub 0.3]Ga[sub 0.7]N/GaN heterostructures and on n-type bulk GaN was investigated after various thermal stressings using capacitance–voltage and current–voltage characterization techniques. The reverse leakage current decreases after thermal treatment at up to 800 and 600 °C for Schottky contacts on the strained Al[sub 0.3]Ga[sub 0.7]N/GaN heterostructures and bulk n-GaN, respectively. Ni Schottky contacts on the heterostructure with 30-min thermal stressing at 700 °C exhibit lower reverse leakage current by more than three orders of magnitude lower than the control sample. However, decrease in two-dimensional electron gas sheet carrier concentration at the Al[sub 0.3]Ga[sub 0.7]N and GaN interface possibly due to interactions between Ni and AlGaN surface was observed with increase of stressing temperature and time. Ni Schottky contacts on bulk n-GaN layers degrade at lower annealing temperature and their rectifying property practically disappears after 700 °C annealing, while Al[sub 0.3]Ga[sub 0.7]N/GaN heterostructures still exhibit nice Schottky behavior after 800 °C annealing. The better thermal stability of Ni Schottky contacts on the heterostructures than those on bulk n-GaN can be attributed to the presence of piezoelectric polarization. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.


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