Computational Fermi Level Engineering and Doping-Type Conversion of Ga2O3 Via Three-Step Processing

Anuj Goyal, Andriy Zakutayev, Vladan Stevanovic, Stephan Lany

Research output: NRELPresentation


Ga2O3 is being actively explored for power electronics, deep-ultraviolet optoelectronics, and other applications due to its ultra-wide bandgap and low projected fabrication cost of large-size and high-quality crystals. N-type doping of Ga2O3 can be achieved and tuned, but p-type doping faces fundamental obstacles due to deep character of acceptor levels and polaron transport of resulting holes. However, successful engineering of Ga2O3 based devices requires critical control of doping density, Fermi level position, and free carrier concentration, providing opportunities for predictive process simulation. We use first-principles defect theory and defect equilibrium calculations to simulate a 3-step growth-annealing-quench protocol for hydrogen assisted Mg doping in Ga2O3, taking into account the hydrogen-oxygen-water gas phase equilibrium. We predict type conversion to a net p-type regime following O-rich annealing after growth under reducing conditions in the presence of H2. This process is similar to the Mg acceptor activation by H removal in GaN. We show that there is an optimal temperature that maximizes the net acceptor density during the equilibrium annealing step for a given Mg doping level. Quenching of non-equilibrium annealed samples then results in a Fermi level EF below mid-gap down to about EV +1.5 eV, creating a significant number of uncompensated neutral MgGa0 acceptors. The resulting free hole concentration in quenched samples is very low (109 – 1012 cm-3) due to deep energy level of these Mg acceptors, but this type converted Ga2O3 material can create a significant built-in field in a p-n junction with an adjoining n-type material. Additionally, the electron concentration is greatly suppressed in such acceptor-doped Ga2O3, which could enable the use as a current blocking layer to fabricate normally-off (enhancement-mode) vertical Ga2O3 based metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs), and as a guard ring for edge termination in MOSFETs and Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) with increased breakdown voltage.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2021 Virtual MRS Spring Meeting, 17-23 April 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-81059


  • defects thermodynamics
  • density functional theory
  • wide bandgap semiconductors


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