Estimation of the charged defect density from hot-electron transport studies in epitaxial ZnO

  • L. Ardaravičius
  • O. Kiprijanovič
  • M. Ramonas
  • E. Šermukšnis
  • A. Šimukovič
  • A. Matulionis
Keywords: ZnO epilayer, charged defects, differential mobility, electron drift velocity, high electric fields


High-field electron transport measurements by applying short (few ns) voltage pulses on nominally undoped n-type Zn-polar ZnO epilayers are reported and interpreted in terms of the Boltzmann kinetic equation. The transient measurements do not demonstrate a significant change in the electron density up to 320 kV/cm electric field. This result together with the experimental data on the current allows one to estimate the electron drift velocity from the measured current: the highest value of ~2.9 × 107 cm/s is obtained at the pre-breakdown field of 320 kV/cm for the ZnO layer with the electron density of 1.5 × 1017 cm–3. The densities of double-charged oxygen vacancies (~1.6 × 1017 cm–3) and other charged centres (~1.7 × 1017 cm–3) are assumed for the best fit of the simulated and measured hot-electron effect. A correlation with the epilayer growth conditions is demonstrated: the higher Zn cell temperature favours the formation of a higher density of the oxygen vacancies (1.9 × 1017 cm–3 at 347°C).