Indium Nitride: An Investigation of Growth, Electronic Structure and Doping
Thesis DisciplineElectrical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The growth, electronic structure and doping of the semiconductor InN has been explored and analysed. InN thin films were grown by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. The significance of the relative fluxes, substrate temperature and buffer layers was explored and related to the electrical and structural properties of the films. An exploration of the effect of active nitrogen species on InN films found that excited molecular nitrogen was preferred for growth over atomic and ionic species. An optimised recipe for InN was developed incorporating all explored parameters. The bandgap of InN was explored using the techniques of optical absorption, photoluminescence and photoconductivity. All three techniques identified a feature near 0.67 eV as the only dominant and reproducible optical feature measurable from InN thin films. No evidence for any optical features above 1 eV was discovered. The effect of the Burstein-Moss effect is discussed and the debate over the relative impact of the effect is related to problems with precisely measuring electron concentrations. Photoluminescence from mixed phase InN films containing significant zincblende content is presented, with tentative evidence presented for a zincblende band gap near 0.61 eV. Native defects within InN were studied by near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy. Nitrogen related defects were found to be unlikely candidates for the high as-grown n-type conductivity. The most likely candidate remains nitrogen vacancies. Ion implantation was shown to cause substantial damage to the InN lattice, which could not be fully repaired through annealing. The limitation on annealing temperatures may limit the use of implantation as a processing tool for InN. Mg was shown to exhibit great promise as a potential p-type dopant. Photoluminescence from Mg doped films was found to quench at high Mg concentrations, consistent with a depletion region near the surface. The potential dilute magnetic semiconductor In1-xCrxN was explored. All of the In1-xCrxN films were found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature and exhibited saturated magnetic moments of up to 0.7 emu/g. An interesting correlation between background electron concentration and remnant moment is presented and the consequences of theoretical exchange models discussed. The bandgap of chromium nitride was also investigated and found to be an indirect gap of 0.7 eV.