Physical Chemistry

Surface Ligand Removal in Atomic Layer Deposition of GaN Using Triethylgallium



Gallium nitride (GaN) is one of the most important semiconductor materials in modern electronics. While GaN films are routinely deposited by chemical vapor deposition at around 1000 °C, low-temperature routes for GaN deposition need to be better understood. Herein, we present an atomic layer deposition (ALD) process for GaN-based on triethyl gallium (TEG) and ammonia plasma and show that the process can be improved by adding a reactive pulse between the TEG and ammonia plasma, making it an ABC-type pulsed process. We show that the material quality of the deposited GaN is not affected by the B-pulse, but that the film growth per ALD cycle increase when a B-pulse is added. We suggest that this can be explained by removal of ethyl ligands from the surface by the B-pulse, enabling a more efficient nitridation by the ammonia plasma. We show that the B-pulsing can be used to enable GaN deposition with a thermal ammonia pulse, albeit of X-ray amorphous films.


Thumbnail image of ALD of GaN from TEG submitted.pdf