Advances in Molecular Beam Epitaxy Growth of Ultra-Wide Bandgap Ga2O3 Based Alloys

Research output: NRELPresentation


Gallium oxide (Ga2O3) is an emerging ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor material that has attracted attention for its potential to outperform existing SiC and GaN based devices operating at high breakdown voltages and high temperature. Isovalent alloying of In and Al in Ga2O3 provides the ability to engineer bandgap energy and strain of the material. Alloying with Al increases the bandgap energy and the theoretically achievable Baliga's figure of merit, a key measure of a material's ultimate performance limits for high power switching devices. Alloying with In introduces compressive strain and can be used to counteract the tensile strain of Al incorporation. The resulting (AlxGa1-x-yIny)2O3 alloy can be lattice-matched to commercially available Ga2O3 wafers and has a tunable bandgap energy greater than that of Ga2O3, 4.76 eV. Such lattice-matched material can be grown arbitrarily thick without the detrimental effects of elastic strain and relaxation, making it suitable for high voltage diodes and transistors. However, efforts to synthesize isovalent alloys are complicated by their tendency to phase separate into corundum Al2O3 or bixbyite In2O3. Literature reports of the quaternary (AlxGa1-x-yIny)2O3 are limited to <1% unintentional indium incorporation in In-catalyzed (AlxGa1-x)2O3. The primary limitation to quaternary growth is the limited incorporation of indium at elevated growth temperatures. This limited incorporation is due to both the volatility of indium oxide and Al and Ga cation exchange reactions which replace indium in In2O3. We report on the development of a novel high-throughput molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) technique to screen the growth conditions for the ternary alloy (InyGa1-y)2O3, and the application of these findings to the first successful synthesis of phase pure monoclinic (AlxGa1-x-yIny)2O3 by MBE. By leveraging the unique sub-oxide chemistry of Ga2O3 and in-situ monitoring of crystal properties by reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED), a cyclical growth and etch-back method is developed and applied to rapidly characterize the (InyGa1-y)2O3 growth space. This cyclical method provides approximately 10x increase in experimental throughput and up to 46x improvement in Ga2O3 substrate utilization. Appropriate growth conditions for monoclinic (InyGa1- y)2O3 are identified by machine learning analysis of RHEED patterns and targeted growths are characterized ex-situ to confirm improved In incorporation. These growth conditions are then combined with established (AlxGa1-x)2O3 growth conditions to grow quaternary (AlxGa1-x-yIny)2O3 with Al mole fractions ranging from 1.4% - 24.4% and In mole fractions ranging from 3.1% to 15.5%. The chemical and optical properties of the alloys are investigated by XRD, XPS, and spectroscopic ellipsometry. A lattice-matched (AlxGa1-x-yIny)2O3 alloy is examined by 4D-STEM and the chemical and physical uniformity of Al and In incorporation are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NamePresented at the 28th AACG Western Section Conference on Crystal Growth & Epitaxy, 9-12 June 2024, Fallen Leaf Lake, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-90195


  • alloy
  • gallium oxide
  • high throughput
  • machine learning
  • molecular beam epitaxy
  • quaternary
  • ultra-wide bandgap


Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in Molecular Beam Epitaxy Growth of Ultra-Wide Bandgap Ga2O3 Based Alloys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this