Preparation of gallium nitride surfaces for atomic layer deposition of aluminum oxide

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Kerr, A. J.
Chagarov, E.
Gu, S.
Kaufman-Osborn, T.
Madisetti, S.
Wu, J.
Asbeck, P. M.
Oktyabrsky, S.
Kummel, A. C.
Journal of Chemical Physics
GaN(0001) , XPS modeling , DFTMD modeling , nucleation , gate oxide atomic layer deposition , wet sulfur treatment , gate oxide deposition , gallium surface atoms , oxide interfacial atoms , tetrahedral bonding
A combined wet and dry cleaning process for GaN(0001) has been investigated with XPS and DFTMD modeling to determine the molecular-level mechanisms for cleaning and the subsequent nucleation of gate oxide atomic layer deposition (ALD). In situ XPS studies show that for the wet sulfur treatment on GaN(0001), sulfur desorbs at room temperature in vacuum prior to gate oxide deposition. Angle resolved depth profiling XPS post-ALD deposition shows that the a-Al2O3 gate oxide bonds directly to the GaN substrate leaving both the gallium surface atoms and the oxide interfacial atoms with XPS chemical shifts consistent with bulk-like charge. These results are in agreement with DFT calculations that predict the oxide/GaN(0001) interface will have bulk-like charges and a low density of band gap states. This passivation is consistent with the oxide restoring the surface gallium atoms to tetrahedral bonding by eliminating the gallium empty dangling bonds on bulk terminated GaN(0001).