Vol. 49, Issue 1, pp. 167-176
GaN, nucleation, recrystallization, metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, nitrides, LED, MSM, MESFET devices
In this work we present the influence of low temperature gallium nitride (LT-GaN) nucleation layer deposition and recrystallization conditions on the electrical and optical properties of buffer and active layer of metal–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MESFET) structure. MESFET structures were used to investigate the properties of bulk materials that determine also the performance of many type GaN based devices, like light emitting diodes (LEDs), high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) and metal–semiconductor–metal (MSM) detectors. The set of n-GaN/u-GaN/sapphire structures using different nucleation LT-GaN layers thickness and different annealing times was deposited using AIXTRON CCS epitaxial system. In contrast to typical procedure, the high resistive GaN buffer layer was not obtained by intentional Fe/Mg doping, but by specific adjustment of GaN nucleation conditions and recrystallization process parameters that introduce carbon atoms in epitaxial layers, that serve as donors. Generally, low pressure (below 200 mbar) in a reactor chamber, during initial stages of nucleation and recrystallization as well as HT-GaN epitaxy, promotes the growth of high resistive material. Obtained results show that annealing/recrystallization time of LT-GaN has a significant impact on the electrical and optical properties of GaN buffer layers. Longer annealing periods tend to promote crystallization of material with higher electron mobility and higher Si dopant incorporation/activation while maintaining high resistivity in u-GaN buffer area. It was shown that the dimensions of the GaN islands, that could be influenced by the duration of an annealing step of LT-GaN growth, have no impact on the HT-GaN buffer layer coalescence process and material resistivity, but influences mainly electrical properties of active n-GaN layer. Author suggests that the key parameters that are determining the buffer resistivity are the pressure and temperature during LT-GaN annealing and buffer layer coalescence. The influence of GaN island diameters, after LT-GaN annealing, on the u-GaN resistivity was not confirmed.