This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Bulk Gallium Nitride Based Electronic Devices: Schottky Diodes, Schottky-Type Ultraviolet Photodetectors and Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Capacitors




Zhou, Yi

Type of Degree





Gallium Nitride (GaN) is one of most promising semiconductor materials for high power, high temperature and high frequency applications. Due to the lack of native substrates for homoepitaxial growth, GaN electronic devices have been conventionally fabricated on epitaxial GaN layers grown on foreign substrates, mostly sapphire. This scheme complicates the fabrication process and compromises the device performance due to the large amount of native defects within the heteroepitaxial layer. In order to fabricate devices with improved performance and simplified fabrication processes, it is desirable to utilize high quality bulk GaN substrates. Recent developments in Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy (HVPE) technology have enabled the successful growth of free-standing GaN wafers with very low dislocation densities. This dissertation reports some developments in the device fabrication, performance and simulation based on bulk GaN substrates. We have fabricated vertical geometry Schottky diodes with a full backside ohmic contact using a bulk GaN substrate. The absence of the sapphire substrate, improved ohmic contact scheme and the vertical transport mode greatly enhance the forward current conduction of the bulk GaN Schottky diode. The device also displays a high reverse breakdown voltage and ultrafast reverse recovery characteristics. The low dislocation density of the substrate allows the fabrication of Schottky-type ultraviolet photodetectors with ultralow dark currents. The large band gap of GaN provides the intrinsic ´visible blindness¡ of the UV photodetector. The device displays a reasonably high responsivity and a good linearity of photocurrent with UV irradiance. We have also fabricated MOS capacitors using a thermally oxidized bulk GaN substrate. The thermal gallium oxide is characterized and its oxidation mechanism and etching process are explored. The thermal grown Ga2O3/GaN interface displays a relatively lower interface density of state as compared to the deposited insulator/GaN interfaces. Schottky diode device simulation has been carried out using Medici software. The simulation shows the utilization of a SiO2 field plate can effectively mitigate the field crowding at the Schottky contact edge and increase the device breakdown voltages.