Characterisation of indium nitride films with swift ions and radioisotope probes

by Santosh Kumar Shrestha

Institution: University of New South Wales
Department: Physical
Year: 2005
Keywords: Indium nitride films; semiconductor; photo voltaic cells; laser diodes; nitrogen; optical absorption method; radioistope; negative ions; ion; elastic recoil detection; radiation; spectroscopy
Record ID: 1050205
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/38734


[Formulae and special characters can not be reproduced here. Please see the pdf version of the Abstract for an accurate reproduction.] Indium nitride is an important III-V nitride semiconductor with many potential applications such as in high frequency transistors, laser diodes and photo voltaic cells. The mobility and peak drift velocity of this material are predicted to be extremely high and superior to that of gallium nitride. However, many material properties such as the origin of the n-type conductivity and the electronic band gap are not well understood. Moreover, there is limited information on the stoichiometry and the level of impurity contaminations in the films from different growth techniques. The n-type conductivity observed for as-grown indium nitride films has long been attributed to nitrogen vacancies, implying that the material is nitrogen deficient. A band gap value around 2 eV, as measured by the optical absorption method, is suggested by some authors to be a result of the formation of an InNIn2O3 alloy. Alternatively, the observation of a lower absorption edge, suggesting a band gap around 0.7 eV, may be caused by Mie scattering at indium clusters that may form during film growth. Secondary ion mass spectroscopy and x-ray techniques provide only qualitative composition information. The quantitative interpretation of the results relies on calibration samples which are not available for indium nitride. In Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, while quantitative, the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen signals cannot be separated unless the film is very thin ([tilde]150 nm). However, with heavy ion Elastic Recoil Detection (ERD) analysis all the elements in indium nitride films can be fully separated even for a film thickness of [tilde] 800 nm. In this work, indium nitride films from different growth techniques have been analysed with ERD using 200 MeV 197Au projectiles. The observed nitrogen depletion during the ERD analysis was monitored as a function of projectile fluence using a gas ionisation detector with a large solid angle. Different models have been tested and it has been shown that the bulk molecular recombination model accurately describes the nitrogen depletion so that the original nitrogen-to- indium ratio can be measured with an accuracy of [plus or minus]3 [percent]. The correlation of nitrogen depletion rate and stopping power of the projectile ion has been investigated. The study has shown that the rate of depletion is slower for low-Z projectiles. It has been shown that for a film with good structural properties, no loss of nitrogen occurs during the ERD analysis with low-Z projectiles such as 42 MeV 32S. Thus, the original nitrogen-to-indium ratio can be obtained without any theoretical modelling, and with a precision of better than [plus or minus]1 [percent]. All the indium nitride films studied in this work, for which X-ray diffraction shows no metallic indium, are nitrogen-rich which is contradictory to expectation. Therefore, the common assertion that nitrogen vacancies are the…