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Title: Optical and electron transport properties of rock-salt Sc{sub 1−x}Al{sub x}N

Epitaxial single-crystal Sc{sub 1−x}Al{sub x}N ternary alloy layers deposited by magnetron co-sputtering on MgO(001) substrates at 950 °C exhibit a solid solution rock-salt phase for x = 0–0.2 without decomposition. Optical absorption indicates a linear increase in the optical gap from 2.51 eV for ScN to 3.05 eV for Sc{sub 0.8}Al{sub 0.2}N and, after correction due to the Moss-Burstein shift, a direct X point interband transition energy E{sub g}(X) = 2.15 + 2.75 x (eV). Correspondingly, the direct transition at the zone center increases with Al concentration according to E{sub g}(Γ) = 3.80 + 1.45 x (eV), as determined from a feature in the reflection spectra. All layers are degenerate n-type semiconductors with a room temperature mobility that decreases from 22 to 6.7 to 0.83 cm{sup 2}/V s as x increases from 0 to 0.11 to 0.20. The corresponding carrier densities are 9.2 × 10{sup 20}, 7.9 × 10{sup 20}, and 0.95 × 10{sup 20 }cm{sup −3} as determined from Hall measurements and consistent with optical free carrier absorption below photon energies of 1 eV. Temperature dependent transport measurements indicate metallic conduction for ScN, but weak localization that leads to a resistivity minimum at 85 and 210 K for x = 0.051 and 0.15, respectively, and a negative temperature coefficient over the entire measured 4–300 K range for Sc{sub 0.8}Al{sub 0.2}N. The decreasing mobility is attributedmore » to alloy scattering at randomly distributed Al atoms on cation sites, which also cause the weak localization. The carrier density is primarily due to unintentional F doping from the Sc target and decreases strongly for x > 0.15, which is attributed to trapping in defect states due to the deterioration of the crystalline quality, as evidenced by the x-ray diffraction peak width that exhibits a minimum of 0.14° for x = 0.11 but increases to 0.49° for x = 0.20. This is consistent with asymmetric x-ray diffraction analyses, indicating a relaxed lattice constant that decreases from 4.511 ± 0.005 to 4.411 ± 0.004 Å for x = 0–0.2, and a biaxial in-plane compressive strain that decreases from −1.1% to −0.2% as x increases from 0 to 0.11, which is attributed to the higher Al adatom mobility, but increases again to −1.8% for x = 0.20, as x approaches the critical composition for phase separation, which causes structural instability and a higher defect density.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22490768
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; CARRIER DENSITY; MAGNESIUM OXIDES; MONOCRYSTALS; SCANDIUM NITRIDES; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; SOLID SOLUTIONS; TEMPERATURE COEFFICIENT; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE; TERNARY ALLOY SYSTEMS; X-RAY DIFFRACTION