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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-04-12
    Description: In this work, we employed X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to determine the band offsets and interface Fermi level at the heterojunction formed by stoichiometric silicon nitride deposited on Al x Ga 1-x N (of varying Al composition “x”) via low pressure chemical vapor deposition. Silicon nitride is found to form a type II staggered band alignment with AlGaN for all Al compositions (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) and present an electron barrier into AlGaN even at higher Al compositions, where E g (AlGaN) 〉 E g (Si 3 N 4 ). Further, no band bending is observed in AlGaN for x ≤ 0.6 and a reduced band bending (by ∼1 eV in comparison to that at free surface) is observed for x 〉 0.6. The Fermi level in silicon nitride is found to be at 3 eV with respect to its valence band, which is likely due to silicon (≡Si 0/−1 ) dangling bonds. The presence of band bending for x 〉 0.6 is seen as a likely consequence of Fermi level alignment at Si 3 N 4 /AlGaN hetero-interface and not due to interface states. Photoelectron spectroscopy results are corroborated by current-voltage-temperature and capacitance-voltage measurements. A shift in the interface Fermi level (before band bending at equilibrium) from the conduction band in Si 3 N 4 /n-GaN to the valence band in Si 3 N 4 /p-GaN is observed, which strongly indicates a reduction in mid-gap interface states. Hence, stoichiometric silicon nitride is found to be a feasible passivation and dielectric insulation material for AlGaN at any composition.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8979
    Electronic ISSN: 1089-7550
    Topics: Physics
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