Sub-bandgap optical spectroscopy of epitaxial β -Ga2O3 thin films

Sijie Hao, Martin Hetzl, Viktoria F. Kunzelmann, Sonja Matich, Qinglin Sai, Changtai Xia, Ian D. Sharp, Martin Stutzmann

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Abstract

Room temperature sub-gap optical absorption spectra measured by photothermal deflection spectroscopy were investigated for hetero- and homo-epitaxial β-Ga2O3 layers grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy as well as for a bulk crystal. The absorption spectra show a pronounced exponential Urbach tail with slope parameters of 120-150 meV in the spectral region between 4.5 and 5 eV, indicating an unusually large self-trapping energy of excitons. In addition, an absorption band related to deep defects is observed in the spectral region from 2.5 to 4.5 eV. The steepness of the Urbach tail as well as the strength of the defect-related absorption can be influenced and optimized by annealing at 900-1000 °C in an oxygen atmosphere. Similar features were also observed for bulk β-Ga2O3 crystals and for homoepitaxial β-Ga2O3 layers. The present results for β-Ga2O3 are compared and discussed in the context of similar measurements for other wide-bandgap semiconductors of current interest in electronics and photocatalysis: GaN, ZnO, TiO2, and BiVO4.

Original languageEnglish
Article number092102
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume116
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2020

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