An analysis of Hall mobility in as-grown and annealed n- and p-type modulation-doped GaInNAs/GaAs quantum wells
© Sarcan et al.; licensee Springer. 2012
Received: 18 July 2012
Accepted: 19 September 2012
Published: 25 September 2012
In this study, we investigate the effect of annealing and nitrogen amount on electronic transport properties in n- and p-type-doped Ga0.68In0.32N y As1 − y/GaAs quantum well (QW) structures with y = 0%, 0.9%, 1.2%, 1.7%. The samples are thermal annealed at 700°C for 60 and 600 s, and Hall effect measurements have been performed between 10 and 300 K. Drastic decrease is observed in the electron mobility of n-type N-containing samples due to the possible N-induced scattering mechanisms and increasing effect mass of the alloy. The temperature dependence of electron mobility has an almost temperature insensitive characteristic, whereas for p-type samples hole mobility is decreased drastically at T > 120 K. As N concentration is increased, the hole mobility also increased as a reason of decreasing lattice mismatch. Screening effect of N-related alloy scattering over phonon scattering in n-type samples may be the reason of the temperature-insensitive electron mobility. At low temperature regime, hole mobility is higher than electron mobility by a factor of 3 to 4. However, at high temperatures (T > 120 K), the mobility of p-type samples is restricted by the scattering of the optical phonons. Because the valance band discontinuity is smaller compared to the conduction band, thermionic transport of holes from QW to the barrier material, GaAs, also contributes to the mobility at high temperatures that results in a decrease in mobility. The hole mobility results of as-grown samples do not show a systematic behavior, while annealed samples do, depending on N concentration. Thermal annealing does not show a significant improvement of electron mobility.
KeywordsGaInNAs Electronic transport Thermal annealing Modulation-doped quantum wells 72.10-d 72.20.Fr 71.55.Eq.
The dilute III-N-As alloys have been widely investigated due to the unusual fundamental physical properties[1, 2]. It has been proven that the material properties are suitable for many device applications such as laser sources emitting at 1.3 to 1.55 μm, detector, and optical amplifiers for fiber-optic communication systems[3–5]. Moreover, Ga1 − xIn x N y As1 − y with an energy band gap of approximately 1 eV has become of particular importance for future use in lattice-matched GaInP/GaAs GaInNAs/Ge 4-junction tandem solar cells.
Although N behaves as an isovalent impurity in Ga(In)As host lattice, its atomic size and electronegativity differ from that of the As atoms. Therefore, N acts as deep center localized above extended conduction band states of the host semiconductor. The interaction between localized N level and delocalized conduction band states restructures the conduction band of the host semiconductor, splitting the conduction band into two sub-bands, E − and E + . E− band constitutes the fundamental band edge of Ga(In)NAs alloy. Only 1% of N causes approximately 150-meV band shrinkage, therefore gives a great flexibility to tailor the band gap of the host material. E− band has a highly non-parabolic energy dispersion relation. The non-parabolicity is responsible for the enhanced electron effective mass in dilute nitrides.
On the other hand, the presence of nitrogen atoms in Ga(In)As lattice makes it difficult to obtain high quality materials due to dissimilarities in atomic radius and electronegativities between N and As atoms of the host semiconductor. Therefore, the optical and electrical properties are strongly affected by the presence of the N atoms. The incorporation of N into the structure leads to form defects such as single N and N-N pairs, N-As, and N-AsGa due to low growth temperature and dissimilarity between N and As. In the multilayer structures, strain between adjacent constitute layers is another source of defects. Incorporation of N into Ga1 − xIn x As reduces the strain of Ga1 − xIn x As layer grown on GaAs. Even though the addition of N strongly affects the electron effective mass, the presence of N has a negligible effect on the valance band and hole effective mass according to the k·p model[8–13]. An effective method is post or in situ thermal annealing which improves optical and crystal quality[14–16].
In this study, we experimentally investigated the effects of N amount and thermal annealing on carrier mobility of n- and p-type modulation-doped Ga0.68In0.32N y As1 − y/GaAs (y = 0%, 0.9%, 1.2%, 1.7%) using Hall effect measurements. A drastic effect of N on electron mobility is observed and attributed to the enhanced electron effective mass which is supported by the experimental findings from Shubnikov-de Haas measurements. The presence of N also causes a slight decrease in the hole mobility. Because it is thought that N has a negligible effect on the valance band, observed reduction of mobility is ascribed to the alloy scattering and interface scattering due to the presence of strain between GaAs and Ga0.68In0.32N y As1 − y. Temperature dependence of electron mobility is almost temperature insensitive, whereas hole mobility follows the trend in 2D hole gas of InGaAs. At low temperature, hole mobility is found to be much higher than electron mobility. A significant improvement for low temperature hole mobility is obtained as a result of optimum thermal annealing conditions. As for electrons, thermal annealing increased the mobility at the interest of temperature range. Our results exhibited that thermal annealing is an effective way to enhance carrier mobility. To the best of our knowledge, we observed the highest mobility in dilute nitrides.
Samples used in the investigations listed along with the corresponding sample codes
(60 s at 700°C)
(600 s at 700°C)
Samples were fabricated in the form of a Hall bar with lengths of 1.75 mm and width of 0.2 mm. Ohmic contacts were formed by alloying Au/Zn and Au/Ge/Ni for p- and n-type materials, respectively. Hall effect measurements were performed in the temperature range between 10 and 300 K to study the low field transport properties of the samples. The current flowing through the sample was kept relatively low (I < 100 μA) to ensure ohmic conditions. Both the mobility and carrier concentration were found to be independent of the current and magnetic field at all temperatures. A steady magnetic field was applied perpendicular to the plane of the samples.
Results and discussions
All p-type samples have a very weak temperature dependence of mobility below T = 30 K then decreases rapidly with increasing temperature, as expected for the enhanced polar optical phonon scattering. At high temperatures (T > 250°C), the hole mobility of as-grown samples takes approximately the same value. Because the valance band offset is so small in GaInNAs/GaAs QW, as the temperature increases, holes can escape from the quantum well via thermionic emission. Therefore, observed high temperature mobility is a result of parallel conducting channels due to the full ionization of acceptors further away from the depletion regions as well as the thermionic emission of holes from the quantum wells over the shallow barriers. On the contrary, electron mobility has a much weaker temperature dependence. This behavior may be associated with the high electron concentration-induced screening effects. Sun et al. showed that electron mobility in GaInNAs/GaAs QW is mainly determined by the N-induced alloy and interface roughness scattering at low temperatures and limited by polar optical phonon and alloy scattering at high temperatures, analyzing analytically the temperature dependence of mobility. Temperature dependence of 2D carrier concentration of as-grown samples is shown in Figure2b. The observed temperature dependence of hole concentration tends to be constant from 10 to 70 K. However, at high temperatures (T > 70 K), carrier density increases. The reason for this behavior might be associated with the increasing concentration of ionized acceptor (Be-doped), generating free holes. The lowest carrier concentration at intermediate temperature range has been observed for N-free sample grown at optimized temperature of InGaAs. In the p-modulation-doped sample at high temperatures, the hole concentration represents a combination of the 2D hole gas in the quantum well and the holes in the wide GaAs barriers due to the full ionization of acceptors further away from the depletion regions as well as the thermionic emission of holes from the quantum wells over the shallow barriers. On the other hand, GaAs barrier is deeper for GaInAs/GaAs QW. Thus, for N-free sample, contribution of holes in the barrier layer will be less.
where rC is the covalent radii of the third atom in the alloy.
Figure3 shows that there is an opposite contribution of two effects with increasing N amount. An interplay between two mechanisms affects the hole mobility. Even when alloy potential is the lowest, strain takes the largest value for TP09. In this case, hole mobility suffers from interface roughness. The highest mobility is observed for TP12. For this sample, both mechanism affect moderately, and the reduction in strain enhances the hole mobility. As for TP17, strain takes the lowest value, but alloy scattering drastically deviates from the value in N-free sample, therefore suppresses the improvement due to lower strain. As a result, the value of hole mobility is determined from an inter-relation between these two effects and their contribution changes with N unequally.
As for n-type samples, thermal annealing does not have a drastic effect on the electron mobility. This is a strong indication that dominant effect on electron mobility is due to the enhanced electron mass. Again, the highest electron mobility is obtained after the 600-s annealing process was applied. The contribution of both interface scattering and alloy scattering may be decreased as a result of annealing; therefore, electron mobility is slightly enhanced over all temperature range. Under the light of our discussion, it can be concluded that the proper annealing time for all the samples is 600 s.
In conclusion, we have investigated temperature dependent Hall mobility for as-grown and annealed p- and n-type modulation doped Ga0.68In0.32As/GaAs and Ga0.68In0.32N y As1 − y/GaAs QW structures containing different N concentrations. The investigated samples were annealed at 700°C for 60 and 600 s, respectively. The Hall measurement results showed that the presence of N affects both electron and hole mobility. At low temperature range, hole mobility is much higher than the corresponding electron mobility. Hole mobility follows the temperature dependence of 2D hole gas in InGaAs. At high temperatures, hole mobility does not show any dependence of N amount and take its lowest value which is an indication of transport that takes place in GaAs barrier layer. Results also indicated that alloy scattering and interface scattering are dominant mechanisms that explain the behavior of temperature dependence of both as-grown and annealed samples. As for n-type sample, low mobility is a result of enhanced effective mass. The fact that thermal annealing only enables a slight increase on electron mobility is an indication that alloy scattering and interface roughness are not the main mechanisms to limit the mobility. The best improvement on carrier mobility is obtained for 600-s annealing time.
two-dimensional electron gas
This work was partially supported by the Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of Istanbul University (project numbers: IRP9571 and 20932) and the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK (project number:110 T874). We also would like to thank COST action for enabling the collaboration possibilities.
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