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Measurement of induced surface charges, contact potentials, and surface states in GaN by electric force microscopy

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4 Author(s)
Bridger, P.M. ; Thomas J. Watson, Sr. Laboratory of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125 ; Bandic, Z.Z. ; Piquette, E.C. ; McGill, T.C.

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We have studied molecular beam epitaxy grown GaN films of both polarities using electric force microscopy to detect sub 1 μm regions of charge density variations associated with GaN extended defects. The large piezoelectric coefficients of GaN together with strain introduced by crystalline imperfections produce variations in piezoelectrically induced electric fields around these defects. The consequent spatial rearrangement of charges can be detected by electrostatic force microscopy and was found to be on the order of the characteristic Debye length for GaN at our dopant concentration. The electric force microscope signal was also found to be a linear function of the contact potential between the metal coating on the tip and GaN. Electrostatic analysis yielded a surface state density of 9.4±0.5×1010cm-2 at an energy of 30 mV above the valence band indicating that the GaN surface is unpinned in this case. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:74 ,  Issue: 23 )