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Origin(s) of anomalous substrate conduction in MOVPE-Grown GaN HEMTs on highly resistive silicon

Ghosh, Saptarsi, Hinz, Alexander, Fairclough, Simon M., Spiridon, Bogdan F., Eblabla, Abdalla ORCID:, Casbon, Michael A. ORCID:, Kappers, Menno J., Elgaid, Khaled ORCID:, Alam, Saiful, Oliver, Rachel A. and Wallis, David J. 2021. Origin(s) of anomalous substrate conduction in MOVPE-Grown GaN HEMTs on highly resistive silicon. ACS Applied Electronic Materials 3 (2) , pp. 813-824. 10.1021/acsaelm.0c00966

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The performance of transistors designed specifically for high-frequency applications is critically reliant upon the semi-insulating electrical properties of the substrate. The suspected formation of a conductive path for radio frequency (RF) signals in the highly resistive (HR) silicon substrate itself has been long held responsible for the suboptimal efficiency of as-grown GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) at higher operating frequencies. Here, we reveal that not one but two discrete channels distinguishable by their carrier type, spatial extent, and origin within the metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) growth process participate in such parasitic substrate conduction. An n-type layer that forms first is uniformly distributed in the substrate, and it has a purely thermal origin. Alongside this, a p-type layer is localized on the substrate side of the AlN/Si interface and is induced by diffusion of group-III element of the metal-organic precursor. Fortunately, maintaining the sheet resistance of this p-type layer to high values (∼2000 Ω/□) seems feasible with particular durations of either organometallic precursor or ammonia gas predose of the Si surface, i.e., the intentional introduction of one chemical precursor just before nucleation. It is proposed that the mechanism behind the control actually relies on the formation of disordered AlSiN between the crystalline AlN nucleation layer and the crystalline silicon substrate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 2637-6113
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 7 January 2021
Last Modified: 21 May 2023 21:37

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