In this paper we show that the surface Fermi level of Ga-polar GaN exhibits a bistable behavior allowing it to be located at two distinct energetic positions at the air/GaN interface which is unusual for other III–V semiconductors such as GaAs or GaSb. To determine the Fermi level position at the air/GaN interface we perform contactless electroreflectance measurements on specially designed UD+ structures [GaN(undoped)/GaN(highly doped)/substrate] doped by Si and Mg. Analyzing the period of Franz-Keldysh oscillation we determine the built-in electric field in the undoped (U) layer. These studies coupled with numerical solutions of the Poisson equation allowed us to determine the position of the Fermi level at the air/GaN interface. We observe a change in the band bending correlated to different Fermi level positions in the doped (D+) layer. We show that depending on the doping type in the D+ layer the Fermi level at the air/GaN interface is located in the upper or lower singularity of surface density of states (SDOS) for Si or Mg doping of D+ layer, respectively. We support our findings with the density functional theory calculations of the SDOS and the dependence of the Fermi level position on the doping concentration in the bulk of a GaN slab.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films