Deep-Ultraviolet Optoelectronic Devices Enabled by the Hybrid Integration of Next-Generation Semiconductors and Emerging Device Platforms

  • Nasir Alfaraj

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In this dissertation, the design and fabrication of deep-ultraviolet photodetectors were investigated based on gallium oxide and its alloys, through the heterogeneous integration with metallic and other inorganic materials. The crystallographic properties of oxide films grown directly and indirectly on silicon, magnesium oxide, and sapphire are examined, and the challenges that hinder the realization of efficient and reliable deep-ultraviolet photodetectors are described. In recent years, single-crystalline heterojunction photodiodes employing beta-polymorph gallium oxide thin films as the main absorption layers have been studied. However, reports in the literature generally lack a thorough examination of epitaxial growth processes of high-quality single-crystalline beta-polymorph gallium oxide thin films on metals, such as transition metal nitrides. My research was initiated by demonstrating an ultraviolet-C photodetector based on an amorphous aluminum gallium oxide photoconductive layer grown directly on silicon (100). The solar-blind photodetector exhibited a peak spectral responsivity of 1.17 A/W. This is the first reported gallium oxide-based photodetector to have been grown and fabricated directly on silicon. The growth of high-quality monoclinic crystals on cubic silicon is a challenging process, which is largely due to the large lattice mismatch that compromises the crystal quality of the oxide layer, and leads to the degradation of device performance. This issue was addressed by growing the material on a different substrate with metal nitride templates, which resulted in improvements to the oxide crystal quality. Consequently, a high optical gain ultraviolet-C photodetector was fabricated based on a beta-polymorph gallium oxide photoconductive layer grown on a magnesium oxide substrate with a titanium nitride template. The enhanced solar-blind photodetector exhibited a peak spectral responsivity as high as 224 A/W. Moreover, thin polymorphic gallium oxide films were grown on c-plane sapphire using pulsed laser deposition for the first time. The stacked thin films, namely epsilon- and beta-polymorph gallium oxide, were sequentially grown under the same conditions. X-ray diffraction measurements and transmission electron microscopy images confirmed a heteroepitaxially grown beta-polymorph gallium oxide on a heterogeneously nucleated epsilon-polymorph gallium oxide polymorphic heterostructure on c-plane sapphire, which had rocking-curve widths of 1.4° (β-Ga2O3 (−603)) and 0.6° (ε-Ga2O3 (006)).
Date of AwardNov 2019
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering
SupervisorBoon Ooi (Supervisor)


  • deep ultraviolet
  • optoelectronics
  • photodetectors
  • oxide semiconductors
  • metal nitrides

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