Investigation of the electrical and chemical properties of plasma-treated AlGaN

X. A. Cao, H. Piao, S. F. LeBoeuf, J. Y. Lin, H. X. Jiang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The surface properties of n-type AlxGa1-xN (x=0-0.5) exposed to inductively couple plasma were studied systematically using metal contact measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Cl 2/BCl3 and Ar plasma treatment considerably increased the surface conductivity of AlxGa1-xN (x<0.3) and thus improved the characteristics of Ti/Al-based ohmic contacts, but degraded the surface and contact properties of AlxGa1-xN (x≥0.3). XPS measurements revealed a significant increase in oxygen incorporation and energy shifts of the core-level spectra in plasma-treated samples. In contrast to an upward shift of the surface Fermi level in plasma-treated GaN, the surface Fermi level moved away from the conduction band in Al0.5Ga 0.5N upon treatment. These findings suggest that the nature of plasma damage in AlGaN appears to be a function of the Al content. Plasma damage in high-Al AlGaN may act as deeplevel compensation centers, degrading the surface electrical properties and contact characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in III-V Nitride Semiconductor Materials and Devices
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781604234114
StatePublished - 2006
Event2006 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 27 2006Dec 1 2006

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Conference2006 MRS Fall Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


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