Origin of ‘‘residual’’ persistent photoconductivity in selectively doped GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs heterojunctions

Theis, T. N.; Wright, S. L.
May 1986
Applied Physics Letters;5/19/1986, Vol. 48 Issue 20, p1374
Academic Journal
We present experimental results which clearly separate the various physical mechanisms which cause persistent photoconductivity in GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs heterojunctions. For high Al mole fraction the major contribution is from the donor-related DX center. This contribution is eliminated by reducing the Al mole fraction x, but we observe a ‘‘residual’’ effect for x<=0.2. We show that this is due to the persistent photovoltage developed between channel and semi-insulating substrate. Charge trapping in the epitaxial GaAs buffer layer contributes negligibly, contrary to the assumptions of other workers. This is demonstrated by fabricating modulation-doped field-effect transistors of low Al mole fraction on conductive substrates. In these devices persistent photoconductivity is eliminated as long as the substrate (back gate) potential is fixed with respect to the channel.


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