High-conductivity polarization-induced 2D hole gases in undoped GaN/AlN heterojunctions enabled by impurity blocking layers

Published In:
Journal of Applied Physics
Volume: 130
Issue: 2
Publication Date: Jul 13, 2021
Authors: Reet Chaudhuri, Zhen Chen, David A. Muller, Huili Grace Xing, Debdeep Jena

DOI: 10.1063/5.0054321


High-conductivity undoped GaN/AlN 2D hole gases (2DHGs), the p-type dual of the AlGaN/GaN 2D electron gases (2DEGs), have offered valuable insights into hole transport in GaN and enabled the first GaN GHz RF p-channel FETs. They are an important step toward high-speed and high-power complementary electronics with wide-bandgap semiconductors. These technologically and scientifically relevant 2D hole gases are perceived to be not as robust as the 2DEGs because structurally similar heterostructures exhibit wide variations of the hole density over Δps>7×1013 cm−2, and low mobilities. In this work, we uncover that the variations are tied to undesired dopant impurities such as silicon and oxygen floating up from the nucleation interface. By introducing impurity blocking layers (IBLs) in the AlN buffer layer, we eliminate the variability in 2D hole gas densities and transport properties, resulting in a much tighter control over the 2DHG density variations to Δps≤1×1013 cm−2 across growths, and a 3× boost in the Hall mobilities. These changes result in a 2–3× increase in hole conductivity when compared to GaN/AlN structures without IBLs.

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