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11 FEBRUARY 2002

Electronic characterization of n -ScN p Si heterojunctions

F. Perjeru, X. Bai, and M. E. Kordescha)
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701

Received 13 August 2001; accepted for publication 27 November 2001 We report the electronic characterization of n -ScN in heterojunctions, including deep level transient spectroscopy of electrically active deep levels. ScN material has been grown by plasma assisted physical vapor deposition on commercial p Si substrates. Currentvoltage and capacitance voltage measurements indicate that the built-in voltages for the heterojunctions used in this study are approximately 1.74 and 0.40 eV, as seen by electrons and holes. Deep level transient spectroscopy results show the presence of an electronic trap with activation energy E C E T 0.51 eV. The trap has a higher concentration (1.2 1.6 1013 cm 3 ) closer to the ScN/Si interface. 2002 American Institute of Physics. DOI: 10.1063/1.1447323

Transition-metal nitrides are well known for their remarkable physical properties including high hardness and mechanical strength, chemical inertness, and electrical resistivity that varies from metallic to semiconducting. They are widely studied for applications such as hard wear-resistant coatings, diffusion barriers, and optical coatings.1 Theoretical calculations indicate that ScN has an indirect band gap of 0.90 eV and a direct one of 2.20 eV2 but experimentally the direct gap at 2.2 eV dominates, the indirect gap has yet to be conrmed. ScN crystallizes in cubic form rocksalt structure3 with lattice constant a 4.48 . ScN material has been grown by a variety of techniques.4 8 In this study the presence of deep levels in ScN material was investigated using deep level transient spectroscopy DLTS. Schottky barriers could not be formed on ScN,6 while ScN p n homo-junctions do not have well-behaved currentvoltage ( I V ) characteristics i.e., large leakage currents and low breakdown voltages.8 ScNSi p n heterojunctions were fabricated for this study. The ScN material used in this study was grown by plasma assisted physical vapor deposition PAPVD, as described in Ref. 3, on p Si substrates. The Si substrates have been cleaned in HF:de-ionized water 1:1 then rinsed in de-ionized water and dried in inert gas prior to ScN deposition. The ohmic contacts were fabricated using dc-sputtered Pd for ScN and evaporated Al for Si thickness 1000 . Details on contact formation can be found in Ref. 7. Currentvoltage measurements were conducted at 300 K using a Keithley 236 source measure unit. Capacitance voltage and DLTS measurements were performed in vacuum at a pressure of 1 10 3 Torr and at a frequency of 1 MHz using a SULA Technologies deep level transient spectrometer. The samples were heated indirectly using a power resistor while the cooling process was done using liquid nitrogen. The sample temperature, needed for Arrhenius analysis, was measured with a thermocouple and a Eurotherm temperature controller. From Hall effect measurement for samples grown under the same conditions as the ones used for this study, it was

found that ScN lms were n type with free carrier concentration of (1.0 5.0) 1015 cm 3 . The Si substrates were p type doped with boron, with a free carrier concentration of 2.0 1018 cm 3 . The difference in the doping level of almost three orders of magnitude simplies the DLTS analysis in that the space charge region will mostly spread into the ScN side and spreading of the space charge region into the Si side would be negligible. A typical set of ScN/Si I V and C V characteristics is displayed in Fig. 1. Ideality factors were in the range of 3.23.5, with turn-on voltages for these junctions in the range of 2.6 3 V, and series resistances of approximately 300 k. From logarithmic characteristics, barriers of 1.6 1.7 eV, at 300 K, were calculated. From C V measurements, the carrier concentration for ScN was calculated to be 2.0 1015 cm 3 in agreement with Hall data and uniformly distributed in the bulk of ScN. Values of 1.74 and 0.40 eV, seen by electrons and holes, respectively, were obtained for the built-in voltages. The Arrhenius plot was obtained from DLTS data9 taken using reverse bias voltage of 2 V, lling pulse of 0 V, and lling time duration of 1 ms. For every temperature, approximately 20 DLTS signals were recorded and averaged. The temperature range used in this study was 280 420 K. The sample temperature was kept constant during data acquisition (within 0.5 K), with a temperature rate change of 10 s/K. DLTS scans while the sample was cooled down have

Electronic mail: kordesch@ohio.edu

FIG. 1. I V and C V characteristic for ScN/Si heterojunctions. Ideality factors of 3.23.5, turn-on voltages of 2.6 3 V, and series resistances of approximately 300 k were calculated. From logarithmic characteristics inset, left, barriers of 1.6 1.7 eV, at 300 K, were extracted.

0003-6951/2002/80(6)/995/3/$19.00 995 2002 American Institute of Physics Downloaded 18 Apr 2007 to Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright, see http://apl.aip.org/apl/copyright.jsp


Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 80, No. 6, 11 February 2002

Perjeru, Bai, and Kordesch

FIG. 2. Typical DLTS spectra for ScN/Si heterojunctions. The diode was pulsed from a reverse bias of 2 V to a lling pulse of 0 V for 1 ms. For four different rate windows corresponding to four emission time constants the temperature of the diodes was ramped from 280 to 420 K. The concentration of the trap is (1 1.5) 1013 cm 3 .

FIG. 3. Trap concentration prole as a function of distance from the ScN/Si interface. It can be seen that the concentration of the trap is decreasing further from the interface of the two materials, dropping by almost one order of magnitude.

been taken as well, in order to estimate any shift in the DLTS peak with increasing/decreasing temperature. The rate windows used in this study were 0.86, 0.43, 0.215, and 0.086 ms, corresponding to emission rates of 11 627.90, 1162.79, 4651.16, and 2325.58 s 1 . Only for these rates could a DLTS peak be seen in the temperature range investigated. Typical DLTS graphs are displayed in Fig. 2. An electronic trap with concentration of 1.2 1.6 1013 cm 3 is found in the sample, with an activation energy of Ec E T 0.51 0.03 eV assuming a temperature independent capture cross section. In order to estimate the capture cross section for this trap, a value for the effective electron mass for ScN is necessary, which has not been measured nor calculated to this date. The concentration of the trap has been estimated using10,11 the equation N T 2 N D ( C / C 0 ), where N T represents the trap concentration, N D is the free carrier concentration, C 0 is the junction capacitance at the applied reverse bias, C is the DLTS signal. The concentration of the trap has been investigated by varying the spreading of the space-charge region in the ScN material, using different values for the reverse bias, and is shown in Fig. 3. The rate window 0.86 ms, lling pulse (0 V) and lling time 1 ms were kept constant, while the reverse bias was changed from 4 to 1 V. This corresponds to approximately 600 m from ScN/Si interface. To investigate the electric-eld dependence of the trap, the duration of the lling pulse was varied while all other parameters were kept constant. The fact that these junctions are characterized by ideality factors greater than 1 suggests that interface roughness due to the way the ScN grows and the lattice mismatch with Si plays an important role in degradation of the I V properties.12 Assuming an effective electron mass equal to the elec-

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tron mass (9.1 10 31 Kg), the Fermi level position for these samples can be calculated using Boltzmann approximation,13 and would be situated at 0.24 eV below the conduction band. In order to be able to estimate the barrier and the band bending of the conduction band at the interface of ScN/Si, one needs to know the electron afnity value for ScN. This value is not yet calculated or measured, therefore, the band bending cannot be estimated for these junctions. From Arrhenius analysis an electronic trap situated below the conduction band at approximately 0.51 0.03 eV has been found in the bulk of ScN. A trap concentration prole shows that this defect has a higher concentration near the Si interface (1.2 1.6 1013 cm 3 ). This could be understood if the defect is associated with the existence of structural defects, such as dislocation lines, a consequence of the mismatch between the two structures of about 10%. If one bears in mind that the mismatch of about 14% between GaN and sapphire leads to dislocation lines concentration of about 1010 cm 2 in good lms, then the conclusion for ScN/Si is that the density of structural defects can be very high at the interface between the two materials as well. Once the lms become thicker, moving away from the Si interface, the concentration of the defect decreases. This defect might be associated with intrinsic defects, either present in the as-grown material independent of the substrate as is the case of the NGa defect in GaN14,15 or might be created as a consequence of structural defects. In either case, it is still possible that the concentration of the defect would have a dependence upon the structural environment, as has been found for the EL 2 defect in GaAs.16 Given the fact that this level has a signature that does not depend on the duration of the lling pulse implies that the capture cross section has a temperature independent behavior and that the electron capture rate is not limited by a timedependent Coulomb barrier.16,17 ScN/Si p n heterojunctions have been fabricated. DLTS

Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 80, No. 6, 11 February 2002

Perjeru, Bai, and Kordesch



analysis shows that an electron trap with activation energy of 0.51 eV is present in PAPVD ScN material, and that this trap has a higher concentration closer to the Si interface, due to, probably, existence of a higher number of structural defects. Improvements in the as-grown material as well as theoretical calculations are necessary in order to make assumptions about the nature of the defect. This work is supported by the Ofce of Naval Research through Grant Nos. N00014-96-1782 and N00014-99-10975.

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