Doping of AlGaN Alloys

Abstract

Nitride-based device structures for electronic and optoelectronic applications usually incorporate layers of AlxGal-xN, and n- and p-type doping of these alloys is typically required. Experimental results indicate that doping efficiencies in AlxGal-xN are lower than in GaN. We address the cause of these doping difficulties, based on results from first-principles density-functional-pseudopotential calculations. For n-type doping we will discuss doping with oxygen, the most common unintentional donor, and with silicon. For oxygen, a DX transition occurs which converts the shallow donor into a negatively charged deep level. We present experimental evidence that oxygen is a DX center in AlxGal-xN for x>∼0.3. For p-type doping, we find that compensation by nitrogen vacancies becomes increasingly important as the Al content is increased. We also find that the ionization energy of the Mg acceptor increases with alloy composition x. To address the limitations on p-type doping we have performed a comprehensive investigation of alternative acceptor impurities; none of the candidates exhibits characteristics that surpass those of Mg in all respects.

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Correspondence to Chris G. Van de Walle.

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Van de Walle, C.G., Stampfl, C., Neugebauer, J. et al. Doping of AlGaN Alloys. MRS Online Proceedings Library 537, 104 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-537-G10.4

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