Growth and Characterization of Homoepitaxial $\beta$-Ga$_2$O$_3$ Layers

Research paper by M. Brooks Tellekamp, Karen N. Heinselman, Steve Harvey, Imran Khan, Andriy Zakutayev

Indexed on: 21 Apr '20Published on: 17 Apr '20Published in: arXiv - Physics - Materials Science


$\beta$-Ga$_2$O$_3$ is a next-generation ultra wide bandgap semiconductor (E$_g$ = 4.8 eV to 4.9 eV) that can be homoepitaxially grown on commercial substrates, enabling next-generation power electronic devices among other important applications. Analyzing the quality of deposited homoepitaxial layers used in such devices is challenging, in part due to the large probing depth in traditional x-ray diffraction (XRD) and also due to the surface-sensitive nature of atomic force microscopy (AFM). Here, a combination of evanescent grazing-incidence skew asymmetric XRD and AFM are investigated as an approach to effectively characterize the quality of homoepitaxial $\beta$-Ga$_2$O$_3$ layers grown by molecular beam epitaxy at a variety of Ga/O flux ratios. Accounting for both structure and morphology, optimal films are achieved at a Ga/O ratio of $\sim$1.15, a conclusion that would not be possible to achieve by either XRD or AFM methods alone. Finally, fabricated Schottky barrier diodes with thicker homoepitaxial layers are characterized by $J-V$ and $C-V$ measurements, revealing an unintentional doping density of 4.3 $\times$ 10$^{16}$ cm$^{-3}$ - 2 $\times$ 10$^{17}$ cm$^{-3}$ in the epilayer. These results demonstrate the importance of complementary measurement methods for improving the quality of the $\beta$-Ga$_2$O$_3$ homoepitaxial layers used in power electronic and other devices.