Electrical characterization of RuOx/n-GaN Schottky diodes formed by oxidizing ruthenium thin-films in normal laboratory air

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Schottky diodes were formed by oxidizing Ru thin films deposited on n-type GaN at 400, 500, and 600 degrees C in normal laboratory air, and their electrical behavior was compared to that of a Ru/n-GaN reference device. The GaN epitaxial layers were grown via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. The ruthenium films were deposited by electron beam evaporation. The Schottky barriers were characterized via current vs voltage (IV) and deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) measurements between 70 and 400 K. The temperature dependent forward bias IV characteristics were fit, and the extracted temperature dependence of the effective barrier height for each device was shown to be caused by inhomogeneity at the metal/semiconductor interface. It was found that barrier inhomogeneity could be well described by a modified log-normal distribution. In reverse bias, it was shown that the low-energy tail of the barrier distribution is an important factor in determining leakage current. Favorable results occur for diodes oxidized at 400 and 500 degrees C, but raising the oxidation temperature to 600 degrees C results in a drastic increase in leakage current. DLTS measurements reveal one electron trap at E-C - 0.57 eV in each of the samples. It was found that the concentration of this 0.57 eV trap increases substantially at 600 degrees C and that trap-assisted tunneling likely contributes an additional pathway for reverse leakage current. (c) 2020 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).