Electrical Measurements in GaN: Point Defects and Dislocations

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Defects can be conveniently categorized into three types: point, line, and areal. In GaN, the important point defects are vacancies and interstitials; the line defects are threading dislocations; and the areal defects are stacking faults. We have used electron irradiation to produce point defects, and temperature-dependent Hall-effect (TDH) and deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) measurements to study them. The TDH investigation has identified two point defects, an 0.06-eV donor and a deep acceptor, thought to be the N vacancy and interstitial, respectively. The DLTS study has found two point-defect electron traps, at 0.06 eV and 0.9 eV, respectively; the 0.06-eV trap actually has two components, with different capture kinetics. With respect to line defects, the DLTS spectrum in as-grown GaN includes an 0.45-eV electron trap, which has the characteristics of a dislocation, and the TDH measurements show that threading-edge dislocations are acceptor-like in n-type GaN. Finally, in samples grown by the hydride vapor phase technique, TDH measurements indicate a strongly n-type region at the GaN/Al2O3 interface, which may be associated with stacking faults. All of the defects discussed above can have an influence on the dc and/or ac conductivity of GaN.

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