Growth and characterization of SiC and GaN

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: At present, focus of the SiC crystal growth development is on improving the crystalline quality without polytype inclusions, micropipes and the occurrence of extended defects. The purity of the grown material, as well as intentional doping must be well controlled and the processes understood. High-quality substrates will significantly improve device performance and yield. One of the aims of the thesis is further understanding of polytype inclusion formation as well as impurity control in SiC bulk crystals grown using PVT method also termed seeded sublimation method. Carbonization of the source was identified as a major reason behind the polytype inclusion occurrence during the growth. The aim of this work was further understanding of sublimation growth process of 4H-SiC bulk crystals in vacuum, in absence of an inert gas. For comparison growth in argon atmosphere (at 5 mbar) was performed. The effect of the ambient on the impurity incorporation was studied for different growth temperatures. For better control of the process in vacuum, tantalum as a carbon getter was utilized.The focus of the SiC part of the thesis was put on further understanding of the PVT epitaxy with an emphasis on the high growth rate and purity of grown layers.High resistivity 4H-SiC samples grown by sublimation with high growth rate were studied. The measurements show resistivity values up to high 104 cm. By correlation between the growth conditions and SIMS results, a model was applied in which it is proposed that an isolated carbon vacancy donor-like level is a possible candidate responsible for compensation of the shallow acceptors in p-type 4H-SiC. A relation between cathodoluminescence (CL) and DLTS data is taken into account to support the model.To meet the requirements for high voltage blocking devices such as high voltage Schottky diodes and MOSFETs, 4H-SiC epitaxial layers have to exhibit low doping concentration in order to block reverse voltages up to few keV and at the same time have a low on-state resistance (Ron). High Ron leads to enhanced power consumption in the operation mode of the devices. In growth of thick layers for high voltage blocking devices, the conditions to achieve good on-state characteristics become more challenging due to the low doping and pronounced thicknesses needed, preferably in short growth periods. In case of high-speed epitaxy such as the sublimation, the need to apply higher growth temperature to yield the high growth rate, results in an increased concentration of background impurities in the layers as well as an influence on the intrinsic defects.On-state resistance Ron estimated from current density-voltage characteristics of Schottky diodes on thick sublimation layers exhibits variations from tens of mΩ.cm2 to tens of Ω.cm2 for different doping levels. In order to understand the occurrence of high on-state resistance, Schottky barrier heights were first estimated for both forward and reverse bias with the application of thermionic emission theory and were in agreement with literature reported values. Decrease in mobility with increasing temperature was observed and its dependencies of T–1.3 and T–2.0 for moderately doped and low doped samples, respectively, were estimated. From deep level measurements by Minority Carrier Transient Spectroscopy (MCTS), an influence of shallow boron related levels and D-center on the on-state resistance was observed, being more pronounced in low doped samples. Similar tendency was observed in depth profiling of Ron. This suggests a major role of boron in a compensation mechanism.In the second part of the thesis growth and characterization of GaN is presented. Excellent electron transport properties with high electron saturate drift velocity make GaN an excellent candidate for electronic devices. Especially, AlGaN/GaN based high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) have received an increased attention in last years due to their attractive properties. The presence of strong spontaneous and piezoelectric polarization due to the lattice mismatch between AlGaN and GaN is responsible for high free electrons concentrations present in the vicinity of the interface. Due to the spatial separation of electrons and ionized donors or surface states, 2DEG electron gas formed near the interface of the heterostructure exhibits high sheet carrier density and high mobility of electrons. Al0.23Ga0.77N/GaN based HEMT structures with an AlN exclusion layer on 100 mm semiinsulating 4H-SiC substrates have been grown by hot-wall MOCVD. The electrical properties of the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) such as electron mobility, sheet carrier density and sheet resistance were obtained from Hall measurements, capacitance-voltage and contact-less eddy-current techniques. The effect of different scattering mechanisms on the mobility have been taken into account and compared to the experimental data. Hall measurements were performed in the range of 80 to 600 K. Hall electron mobility is equal to 17140 cm2(Vs)-1 at 80 K, 2310 cm2(Vs)-1 at room temperature, and as high as 800 cm2(Vs)-1 at 450 K, while the sheet carrier density is 1.04x1013 cm-2 at room temperature and does not vary very much with temperature. Estimation of different electron scattering mechanisms reveals that at temperatures higher than room temperature, experimental mobility data is mainly limited by optical phonon scattering. At relevant high power device temperature (450 K) there is still an increase of mobility due to the AlN exclusion layer.We have studied the behaviour of Ga-face GaN epilayers after in-situ thermal treatment in different gas mixtures in a hot-wall MOCVD reactor. Influence of N2, N2+NH3 and N2+NH3+H2 ambient on the morphology was investigated in this work. The most stable thermal treatment conditions were obtained in the case of N2+NH3 gas ambients. We have also studied the effect of the increased molar ratio of hydrogen in order to establish proper etching conditions for hot-wall MOCVD growth.

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