Open Access Nano Express

Effects of post-deposition annealing ambient on band alignment of RF magnetron-sputtered Y2O3 film on gallium nitride

Hock Jin Quah and Kuan Yew Cheong*

Author Affiliations

Energy Efficient & Sustainable Semiconductor Research Group, School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, Penang, 14300, Malaysia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:53  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-53

Published: 29 January 2013

Abstract

The effects of different post-deposition annealing ambients (oxygen, argon, forming gas (95% N2 + 5% H2), and nitrogen) on radio frequency magnetron-sputtered yttrium oxide (Y2O3) films on n-type gallium nitride (GaN) substrate were studied in this work. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was utilized to extract the bandgap of Y2O3 and interfacial layer as well as establishing the energy band alignment of Y2O3/interfacial layer/GaN structure. Three different structures of energy band alignment were obtained, and the change of band alignment influenced leakage current density-electrical breakdown field characteristics of the samples subjected to different post-deposition annealing ambients. Of these investigated samples, ability of the sample annealed in O2 ambient to withstand the highest electric breakdown field (approximately 6.6 MV/cm) at 10−6 A/cm2 was related to the largest conduction band offset of interfacial layer/GaN (3.77 eV) and barrier height (3.72 eV).

Keywords:
Yttrium oxide; Gallium nitride; Post-deposition annealing; Band alignment; Conduction band offset