Electron beam induced current (EBIC) characterisation can provide detailed information on the influence of crystalline defects on the diffusion and recombination of minority carriers in semiconductors. New developments are required for GaN light emitting devices, which need a cross-sectional approach to provide access to their complex multi-layered structures. A sample preparation approach based on low-voltage Ar ion milling is proposed here and shown to produce a flat cross-section with very limited surface recombination, which enables low-voltage high resolution EBIC characterisation. Dark defects are observed in EBIC images and correlation with cathodoluminescence images identify them as threading dislocations. Emphasis is placed on one-dimensional quantification which is used to show that junction delineation with very good spatial resolution can be achieved, revealing significant roughening of this GaN p-n junction. Furthermore, longer minority carrier diffusion lengths along the c-axis are found at dislocation sites, in both p-GaN and the multi-quantum well (MQW) region. This is attributed to gettering of point defects at threading dislocations in p-GaN and higher escape rate from quantum wells at dislocation sites in the MQW region, respectively. These developments show considerable promise for the use of low-voltage cross-sectional EBIC in the characterisation of point and extended defects in GaN-based devices and it is suggested that this technique will be particularly useful for degradation analysis. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- surface recombination velocity
- diffusion length
- line scan