Passivation of deep level defects in molecular beam epitaxial GaAs by hydrogen plasma exposure

Dautremont-Smith, W. C.; Nabity, J. C.; Swaminathan, V.; Stavola, Michael; Chevallier, J.; Tu, C. W.; Pearton, S. J.
October 1986
Applied Physics Letters;10/27/1986, Vol. 49 Issue 17, p1098
Academic Journal
The effect of hydrogen plasma exposure on the deep level defects present in GaAs grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) has been investigated by deep level transient spectroscopy and by photoluminescence. The three commonly observed defects in MBE grown layers, the M1, M2, and M4 levels, found to be present at a total concentration of 5×1013 cm-3, are completely passivated by exposure to the hydrogen plasma. At low carrier concentration, in samples where surface recombination is suppressed by a thin GaxAl1-xAs cap, passivation of these defects increases photoluminescence efficiency by factors of 30 and 100 at 298 and 77 K, respectively. Defect passivation occurs in addition to the previously reported donor neutralization, but, whereas the latter is removed by a 400 °C, 5 min anneal, the former remains fully effective. Only upon 600 °C, 5 min annealing does the defect level passivation begin to be lost. Thus there is a wide temperature window within which it is possible to regain the carrier concentration without loss of passivation of the deep level defects.


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