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Surface band bending of a-plane GaN studied by scanning Kelvin probe microscopy

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5 Author(s)
Chevtchenko, S. ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Physics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23284 ; Ni, X. ; Fan, Q. ; Baski, A.A.
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We report the value of surface band bending for undoped, a-plane GaN layers grown on r-plane sapphire by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy. The surface potential was measured directly by ambient scanning Kelvin probe microscopy. The upward surface band bending of GaN films grown in the [1120] direction was found to be 1.1±0.1 V. Because polarization effects are not present on a-plane GaN, we attribute such band bending to the presence of charged surface states. We have modeled the surface band bending assuming a localized level of surface states in the band gap on the surface. It should be noted that the band bending observed for a-plane layers is comparable to that obtained on polar c-plane layers, and both a-plane and c-plane GaN films with similar surface treatments demonstrate comparable band bending behavior, indicating that charged surface states dominate band banding in both cases.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:88 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 2006

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