Thermal Stability of Nitride-Based Diffusion Barriers for Ohmic Contacts to n-GaN

The use of TaN, TiN, and ZrN diffusion barriers for Ti/Al-based contacts on n-GaN (n ∼ 3 × 1017 cm−3) is reported. The annealing temperature (600–1,000°C) dependence of the Ohmic contact characteristics using a Ti/Al/X/Ti/Au metallization scheme, where X is TaN, TiN, or ZrN, deposited by sputtering was investigated by contact resistance measurements and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). The as-deposited contacts were rectifying and transitioned to Ohmic behavior for annealing at ≥600°C. A minimum specific contact resistivity of ∼6 × 10−5 Ω-cm−2 was obtained after annealing over a broad range of temperatures (600–900°C for 60 s), comparable to that achieved using a conventional Ti/Al/Pt/Au scheme on the same samples. The contact morphology became considerably rougher at the high end of the annealing range. The long-term reliability of the contacts at 350°C was examined; each contact structure showed an increase in contact resistance by a factor of three to four over 24 days at 350°C in air. AES profiling showed that the aging had little effect on the contact structure of the nitride stacks.

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Acknowledgements

The work at UF was partially supported by an AFOSR grant under Grant No. F49620-03-1-0370, by the Army Research Office under Grant No. DAAD19-01-1-0603 and the National Science Foundation (DMR 0400416, Dr. L. Hess).

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Voss, L., Stafford, L., Khanna, R. et al. Thermal Stability of Nitride-Based Diffusion Barriers for Ohmic Contacts to n-GaN. Journal of Elec Materi 36, 1662–1668 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11664-007-0277-3

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Keywords

  • GaN
  • Ohmic contacts