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Title: The effect of polarity and surface states on the Fermi level at III-nitride surfaces

Surface states and their influence on the Fermi level at the surface of GaN and AlN are studied using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The effect of polarity on surface electronic properties was studied. Accurate modeling of the valence band edge and comparison with XPS data revealed the presence of donor surface states at 1.4 eV and acceptor states at energies > 2.7 eV from the valence band in GaN. Al polar AlN showed acceptor states at energies > 3.3 eV. Density of acceptor surface states was estimated to be between 10(13) and 10(14) eV(-1) cm(-2) in both GaN and AlN. The shift in charge neutrality levels and barrier heights due to polarity and the density of surface states on AlN and GaN were estimated from XPS measurements. Theoretical modeling and comparison with XPS data implied full compensation of spontaneous polarization charge by charged surface states. Barrier height measurements also reveal a dependence on polarity with phi(metal-polar)>phi(non-polar)>phi(nitrogen-polar) suggesting that the N-polar surface is the most suitable for Ohmic contacts. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 12
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States