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Researchers 'heal' plasma-damaged semiconductor with treatment of hydrogen radicals

Date:
June 14, 2012
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Researchers have developed and tested a new way to heal defects in gallium nitride (GaN), a highly promising material for a wide range of optical and high-power electronic devices.
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Gallium nitride (GaN) is a highly promising material for a wide range of optical and high-power electronic devices, which can be fabricated by dry etching with plasmas. However, the plasma-induced defects and surface residues that remain after such processes tend to degrade the optical and electrical properties of the devices. A team of Japanese researchers has developed and tested a new way to "heal" such defects.

The team exposed plasma-damaged GaN to hydrogen (H) radicals at room temperature. After testing various doses of H radicals, the researchers evaluated the optical properties of the GaN. The intensity of light emitted when electrons near the edge of the valence shell in GaN absorbed and then re-emitted photons drastically decreased after chlorine plasma-beam etching.

After treatment with the higher-level doses of H radicals, however, the photoluminescence was restored to almost the level of un-etched GaN. The H radicals likely terminated the dangling bonds of Ga on the GaN surface, as well as desorbed the surface residues, which both led to the recovered optical performance.

A key characteristic of the new healing process, described in a paper accepted to the American Institute of Physics' journal AIP Advances, is that it is performed in situ immediately after the etching process. This is important because unwanted surface oxidation can easily occur on plasma-damaged GaN that is exposed to air.


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shang Chen, Yi Lu, Ryosuke Kometani, Kenji Ishikawa, Hiroki Kondo, Yutaka Tokuda, Makoto Sekine, Masaru Hori. Photoluminescence recovery by in-situ exposure of plasma-damaged n-GaN to atomic hydrogen at room temperature. AIP Advances, 2012; 2 (2): 022149 DOI: 10.1063/1.4729448

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American Institute of Physics. "Researchers 'heal' plasma-damaged semiconductor with treatment of hydrogen radicals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614082631.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2012, June 14). Researchers 'heal' plasma-damaged semiconductor with treatment of hydrogen radicals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614082631.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Researchers 'heal' plasma-damaged semiconductor with treatment of hydrogen radicals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614082631.htm (accessed May 30, 2015).

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